Altybarmakian OT Winner Completes Rockford Comeback, 4-3
Rockford, IL – Andrei Altybarmakian scored 1:17 into overtime to lead the Rockford IceHogs to a 4-3 victory over the Iowa Wild on Sunday afternoon. Altybarmakian scored the first and last goals of the game and Delia Collin outdueled Hunter Jones for the second straight night, stopping 27 shots to earn the victory. Connor Dewar scored two goals and Calen Addison had three assists for Iowa. The OT loss dropped the Wild to 3-5-2.
Altybarmakian gave his team the lead 8:19 into the contest. Dmitry Osipov fed the puck ahead to Altybarmakian in the neutral zone. He skated down the boards into the Wild end, then moved in on Jones, firing the puck through the legs of the Iowa netminder for his second goal of the year.
The Wild tied the score on the power play with 63 seconds left in the period. Addison passed the puck to Dewar just inside the left faceoff circle. He fired a wrist shot that beat IceHogs netminder Delia to the glove side to knot the game at one. Gabriel Dumont had an assist on the goal, extending his point streak to 10 straight games, a franchise record.
The IceHogs retook the lead 2:35 into the second period. Isaak Phillips passed the puck to Evan Barratt along the boards. He moved in to just above the left faceoff circle and blasted a laser that beat Jones over the shoulder for his second goal of the year.
Iowa was down once again but they would take the lead thanks to a pair of goals 1:43 apart. The first came at 4:21 when Dewar netted his second goal of the game. Mitchell Chaffee fired a shot that was blocked down in front, but the puck was loose on the right side of the crease. Dewar quickly detected the loose puck, diving forward to poke check it in for his fifth goal of the season.
Less than two minutes later the Wild were back on the board. With Iowa on a 5-on-3 advantage, Addison slowly moved in from the right faceoff circle waiting for Damien Giroux to head to the opposite side of the net. Addison then made a perfect pass across the slot to Giroux, who simply redirected the puck in for his second tally of the season and the Wild led, 3-2. Addison earned his third assist of the game.
Iowa held the lead into the third, but IceHogs tied the score a little over eight minutes into the period. Great puck movement allowed Rockford to keep the puck inside the Iowa zone. Cole Moberg fired a wrist shot from the point that Jones saved with his chest protector. The rebound landed just outside the crease where MacKenzie Entwistle gained control. He made a great backhand behind the back pass to D.J. Busdeker who was charging the net. Busdeker put the puck in for his second goal of the year and the game was tied.
Altybarmakian made short work of overtime. Just 77 seconds into the extra frame, Altybarmakian gained control of the puck along the right boards in the Iowa zone. He was being hounded by Dewar but was able to fend off the Wild forward, moving down the boards behind the net and up the other side. He then was able to extricate himself of Dewar, curling into the slot where he fired a wrist shot that beat Jones to win it for Rockford. It was the first professional overtime goal for Altybarmakian. Delia made 27 saves to earn the victory.
Jones earned his first point as a netminder, moving to 0-3-1 this season. He now has a 6.29 goals against average and a .805 save percentage in four starts.
Iowa returns home to square off with the Chicago Wolves on Saturday, Mar. 13. The puck drops at 6 p.m. CT at Wells Fargo Arena.
By Robert Pannier