DES MOINES, IA – Marco Rossi scored the tying goal with 28 seconds left in the contest to force overtime, then scored the game-winner in overtime to give the Iowa Wild a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Eagles. Andrew Hammond returned between the pipes for the first time since November 27 and showed no rust, stopping 22 shots. The victory was the second straight for the Wild.
The Wild took the lead 12:13 into the contest as Kyle Rau scored on the power-play for his seventh goal of the year. Matt Boldy took a shot that was saved by Eagles netminder Peyton Jones, but the rebound came right back to Boldy, who fired a wrist shot toward the Colorado netminder. Rau redirected the puck to put his team on top, 1-0.
That one goal lead held through the first period and deep into the second, but Nate Clurman tied the score with 5:30 left in the second period. Keaton Middleton’s shot was saved by Hammond, but Clurman was in great position to corral the rebound and put it past the Iowa netminder for his first goal of the year.
Colorado completely dominated the second frame, outshooting Iowa, 16-6. That pressure continued into the third when Rob Hamilton scored 38 seconds into the period. Dylan Sikura passed the puck back to Hamilton at the point, who lifted a wrist shot that beat Hammond for his fourth goal of the year.
The Wild responded by dominating the third period, but Jones was spectacular, keeping his team on top by a goal. However, a penalty was 67 seconds left in the contest gave Iowa the opportunity to tie the score. With Hammond pulled for the extra attacker, Dakota Mermis passed the puck along the blueline to Rossi, who moved in to just above the left face-off circle before launching a wrist shot that beat Jones to the glove side, tying the score at two with 28 seconds left.
That forced overtime, where Rossi made short work of it, scoring 1:10 into the frame to give the Wild the victory. The winning goal was set up when Rossi got into the neutral zone on a breakaway but was interfered with before getting the shot off. That drew a penalty shot and Rossi delivered. The Iowa forward moved the puck methodically back and forth as he moved in on net, waiting for Jones to shift before putting a wrist shot over the pad and in for his sixth goal of the year.
The teams tied in shots on goal with 33. Iowa was 2-4 on the power-play. Hammond looked outstanding in his first action in over a month, stopping 22 of 24 shots to earn the victory. That moved his record to 6-1-1.
These two teams will square off again on Friday in an early afternoon tilt on New Year’s Eve. The puck drops at 2:00p.
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