Rockford, Ill.-The Rockford IceHogs were seconds away from their first winning streak of the 2021-22 season Wednesday night. Unfortunately for Rockford, the Iowa Wild refused to be put away.
Before we get to that exciting end-of-game action, let’s see how the teams got to that point.
Iowa scored first, getting a Dakota Mermis goal 11:15 into the game. However, the IceHogs special teams put Rockford in the lead heading into the intermission.
Brett Connolly one-timed a Josiah Slavin pass from the slot to convert on the man advantage at 15:15 of the first period. Two minutes later, Connolly started a shorthanded rush up the ice with Carson Gicewicz in the box for slashing. Ian Mitchell and Slavin reached Wild goalie Dereck Baribeau with no defender in front of them. Slavin’s third goal of the season had the Hogs up 2-1 at the break.
The Wild evened the score on Connor Dewar‘s goal 3:21 into the second stanza. The score remained tied until Wyatt Kalynuk sent a slap shot from the left point 8:12 into the third. Rockford limited the Iowa offense for most of the final frame until Wild coach Tim Army brought Baribeau to the bench in favor of an extra skater.
Hogs goaltender Malcolm Subban was able to keep shots by Mason Shaw and Nick Swaney out of the net as the final minute ticked away. However, Swaney was able to put back his own rebound past Subban with just 26 seconds remaining set up overtime.
With Connelly in the box for tripping, Joe Hicketts sent home the game-winner with the Wild on a 4-on-3 power play 3:53 into the extra session. The Hicketts one-timer from Shaw over Subban’s glove completed the comeback, allowing Iowa to lea.
Subban was a hard-luck loser, stopping 39 Iowa shots as the IceHogs were outshot 43-21.
The win put a damper on the performance of veteran Connolly, who had a three-point (1 G, 2 A) effort spoiled by Iowa’s late heroics. As a result, Rockford falls to 3-5-1 on the season, while the Wild improve to 5-3-1.
- Once again, Rockford was badly outshot by an opponent who had no problem getting between the circles for high-percentage shots. Subban really deserved better, limiting the second-chance opportunities most of the night until Swaney’s equalizer.
- Connolly, who was voted the game’s First Star, extended his point streak to four games.
- Kalynuk was making his season debut for Rockford after the Blackhawks assigned him there Wednesday. His goal was the first for an IceHogs defenseman this season.
Rockford continues its November homestand on Friday when they host the Chicago Wolves. Iowa’s next action comes Saturday when the Wild host Milwaukee for the first of back-to-back games.
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