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2023 Calder Cup Playoffs

Buddy Robinson Sends Rockford To Series Win In Iowa

(Photo by Tim Garland/Iowa Wild)

Buddy Robinson Sends Rockford To Series Win In Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa – Game Two of the Central Division first-round series took place in a different location, but had a similar outcome for the Rockford IceHogs. For the second time in three nights, the IceHogs and the Iowa Wild battled into overtime. For the second time in three nights, Rockford prevailed.

The IceHogs completed a series sweep over Iowa when Buddy Robinson‘s tip-in 2:05 into the extra session gave Rockford a 4-3 Game Two triumph at Wells Fargo Arena. The IceHogs move on to a Central Division Semi-Final matchup with the Texas Stars.

“I just get to the front of the net and Vlas (Hogs defenseman Alex Vlasic) made a great play there. I just, (got my) stick on the ice and it happened to hit me,” Robinson told Hogs rink-side reporter Katie Florio following the game. Rock (Rocco Grimaldi) made a good play behind the net and got it to Vlas. Like I said, I was just trying to get to the front of the net and it hit my stick and it went in.”

Robinson’s heroics brought an end to a see-saw affair that saw the lead chance hands three times in regulation. Damien Giroux gave the Wild an early 1-0 lead 5:49 into the contest before Rockford converted on it first power-play chance of the evening. With Marco Rossi in the box for high-sticking, Issak Phillips hauled in a pass from Michal Teply at the top of the left circle. His wrister beat Iowa goalie Jesper Wallstedt to the twine at 17:27 of the first period.

Rockford would take a 2-1 lead into the third period on a David Gust drive to the net late in the middle frame. However, the Wild quickly turned the tables on the IceHogs. Rossi tied the game twenty seconds into the third with an unassisted power-play goal. Adam Beckman gave Iowa a 3-2 advantage at the 5:53 mark with assists from Rossi and Sammy Walker, who was back in the Wild lineup after being reassigned by Minnesota on Friday morning.

Teply would knot the score at three midway through the period, starting a scoring play by grabbing possession of the puck in the defensive zone and sending it out to Filip Roos. Entering the Wild zone, Roos tossed a shot on goal from just inside the blue line. D.J. Busdeker attempted the initial shot off the rebound before Teply, who had made his way to the right post, knocked it in for the equalizer at 9:34 of the third. It stayed 3-3 through regulation.

Hogs goalie Arvid Soderblom, who made 26 saves on the night, saved his best for last. Soderblom stopped a point-blank one-time attempt by Steven Fogarty at the left post 30 seconds into overtime, setting the stage for Robinson’s game-winner.

“It was a great series; they’re a hard team to play against,” Robinson said of a hard-nosed Iowa team that took the Hogs to overtime nine times in fourteen meetings this season. “Fourteen times, I think, this season, so that’s enough of them for the rest of the season. We’re looking forward to moving on.”

Game Two Notes

  • Wallstedt was playing in consecutive starts for the first time in two months. He had 33 saves in defeat. Both Wallstedt and Soderblom were very good in this series.
  • Robinson’s game-winner was his first goal for Rockford since December 31. He had nine goals and 11 assists in the regular season for the Hogs.
  • In addition to Teply’s two-point night, Vlasic contributed a pair of assists for Rockford.
  • The depth of the IceHogs proved to be a factor in Friday’s win, with the bottom six forwards creating the necessary offense for a big road victory.
  • The Hogs-Stars Central Division Semi-Final begins at Rockford’s BMO Center on Friday, April 28. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

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    Jon Fromi covers the Rockford IceHogs for Field Pass Hockey. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @FPHIceHogs.

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