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Iowa Comeback Results In Shootout Victory In Rockford

Steven Fogarty and Jesper Wallstedt led Iowa to a 3-2 shootout win over Rockford Friday night. (Photo by Todd Reicher/Rockford IceHogs)

Iowa Comeback Results In Shootout Victory In Rockford

Rockford, Ill.-The Rockford IceHogs held a one-goal lead after two periods at the BMO Center Friday night. Rockford was 8-0 this season when leading after 40 minutes. Turns out the Iowa Wild just love messing things up. Iowa tied the game with seven minutes to play, sent the game to a shootout, and picked up a big road win via a Steven Fogarty goal in the fourth round to hand the Hogs a 3-2 defeat.

The Wild (10-8-2-2) snapped the IceHogs’ three-game winning streak with a patient, straight-forward effort. Rockford retains its spot in third place in the Central Division but falls to 12-7-0-2. Both shootout losses have come against the Wild, who also bested the Hogs 5-4 on November 8.

The IceHogs dominated the early minutes of action. However, it was the Wild getting on the board first. Following up on Turner Ottenbreit‘s attempt from the slot, Brandon Baddock steered the rebound past Rockford goalie Mitchell Weeks for a 1-0 Iowa lead 9:55 into the game. The Hogs’ response came quickly. Brett Seney got a piece of a long shot by Issak Phillips. It was enough to get the puck past Iowa goalie Jesper Wallstedt at the 11:41 mark.

The second period was marked by several penalties on both sides. Fittingly, the game’s next goal came on a man advantage. However, it was Rockford that converted down a man to Iowa. Cole Guttman forced a turnover and took the puck to the Wild net. Wallstedt stopped Guttman’s shot, but on hand to grab the rebound and backhand his first goal of the season was Josiah Slavin. The shorthanded goal came at 10:16 of the second.

“Gutter (Guttman) got a rush and he just did a good job delaying and waiting for me to get to the net before he shot it,” Slavin explained to Hogs reporter Katie Florio on the goal. “Kind of an awkward puck, caught it with my hand and just set it down and tried to whack it in.”

Special teams continued to loom large in the third period. The IceHogs had two power-play chances go by the wayside in the opening minutes of the final frame. Midway through the period, Jakub Galvas was sent to the box for a delay of game penalty. Iowa took advantage, with Fogarty taking a pass from Joe Hicketts and tying the game at 2-2 thirteen minutes into the third period.

While the IceHogs had ample opportunities to win the game in overtime, Wallstedt continued to snuff out one rush after another. Weeks was up to the challenge, preventing several Wild attempts to end the game. It would take a shootout to decide a winner.

Lukas Reichel scored for Rockford to lead off the third round, only to have Iowa’s Adam Beckman answer to keep his team in the game. Wallstedt stopped Seney in the fourth round, setting up Fogarty’s game-winner, a backhand shot that rose above the blocker of Weeks.

The goalies were both on point Friday, Wallstedt was just a bit better, stopping 37 Rockford shots. Wells, just back with Rockford this week from the ECHL’s Indy Fuel, continued his solid play for the Hogs, making 33 saves only to come up one stop short.

Rockford and the Wild are back at it again at the BMO Center Saturday night. The rematch gets underway at 7:00 p.m. CDT.

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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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