Des Moines, Iowa – After forward Buddy Robinson netted the overtime game-winning goal, the Rockford IceHogs topped the Iowa Wild 4-3 in Game 2 of the First Round series and will advance to the Central Division Semifinals and face the Central Division Champion Texas Stars.
For the second time in the First Round, Rockford and Iowa needed the overtime period to determine a winner. Defenseman Alex Vlasic fired a shot from the left circle, and Robinson shoveled the loose puck behind Wild netminder Jesper Wallstedt at 2:05 of the extra period. It was Robinson’s sixth career Calder Cup Playoff goal and his first in overtime.
The Wild got on the board first early in the first period and took a 1-0 lead. Out of the face off in Rockford’s zone, Iowa defenseman Daemon Hunt fired a shot from the left point that IceHogs goaltender Arvid Soderblom shrugged off, but forward Damien Giroux picked up the rebound and flicked the loose puck past a diving Soderblom from the edge of the crease at 5:49.
After Marco Rossi was charged with a high-sticking minor at 15:35 and sent Rockford on the man advantage, Soderblom made a stop to deny Iowa forward Michael Milne’s shorthanded breakaway attempt at 16:25.
Defenseman Isaak Phillips sniped a wrister from the left circle low past the glove of Wallstedt at 17:27, evening the score 1-1 on the power play heading into the first intermission.
The up-and-down, action packed second period saw eight penalties between the division rivals for a total of 16 penalty minutes, and both goalies marked impressive saves to keep the game tied until late in the frame.
While on a 4-on-4 after Wild forward Patrick Curry was called for tripping at 15:07 and IceHogs forward Rocco Grimaldi was charged with a tripping minor at 15:22, forward David Gust swooped into Iowa’s zone on a power move down the left wing, pulled the puck to his backhand and then punched it past Wallstedt on his forehand to put Rockford on top 2-1 at 16:10.
Iowa started the final frame on a power play that carried over from a holding minor against defenseman Filip Roos at 18:49 in the second period. The third period brought with it a changing of the tides, and the Wild netted two goals in the first six minutes of the frame to steal the momentum.
When the Hogs were unable to clear the zone on the penalty kill, Rossi jumped on the loose puck after a Rockford turnover and netted a wrist shot from the edge of the right circle just 20 seconds into the third period and tied the contest 2-2.
Iowa forward Adam Beckman netted his first Calder Cup Playoff goal at 5:53. After Soderblom denied Rossi on an odd-man rush, Beckman found the rebound and flipped a shot over the sprawled IceHogs goaltender, and the Wild took a 3-2 lead.
Rockford tied the game in the middle of the third period when the third line got to work in the offensive zone. After Roos’ shot from the left point was stopped by Wallstedt, forward D.J. Busdeker knocked a puck across the slot, and forward Michal Teply buried it behind Wallstedt at 9:34, scoring his first Calder Cup Playoff goal and tying the match 3-3.
Stopping 26 of 29 Iowa shots, Soderblom recorded his fourth Calder Cup Playoff win. Wallstedt was hit with his second career postseason loss with 33 saves on 37 Rockford shots. Wallstedt’s 33 saves tied an Iowa franchise record for most saves in a postseason game.
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