Petan Nets Second OT Game-Winner as Wild Down IceHogs
DES MOINES, IA – Nic Petan is quickly proving that he has a flair for the dramatic, scoring his second overtime goal in the last three contests as the Iowa Wild defeated the Rockford IceHogs on Tuesday, 2-1. Petan scored the game-winner against the Milwaukee Admirals in a 3-2 victory on Friday. Jesper Wallstedt won his sixth straight game, stopping 24 shots. The victory moved Iowa one-point ahead of Rockford in the Central Division standings and into fourth place.
This was a tight checking affair through the first 20 minutes as Iowa outshot Rockford, 7-5. Wallstedt and Arvid Soderblom faced light work, ensuring that the game remained scoreless through the first frame.
It looked like it would remain scoreless through the second period as well, despite the fact that play picked up. The IceHogs outshot the Wild 13-11 in the second and had several great scoring opportunities, but Wallstedt kept Rockford out of the net. That included halfway through the period when Lukas Reichel looked like he had a wide-open net, but a sprawling Wallstedt was able to get over and make a spectacular blocker save to keep the game scoreless.
With 12 seconds left in the frame, Marco Rossi netted his eighth goal of the season. Turner Ottenbreit gained control of the park inside the Rockford zone, then found Rossi in the slot. With his back to the net, Rossi quickly spun around, lifting her wrist shot that beat Soderblom to put Iowa on top by a goal.
The IceHogs responded quickly, scoring 1:38 into the third to tie the game. Cole Guttman turned on the jets, sliding between two Wild defensemen before beating Wallstedt to the glove side for his 13th of the year.
Iowa continued to pressure Rockford in the third, outshooting the IceHogs, 12-7, but Soderblom was outstanding.
That sent the game to overtime where the Wild continued to dominate, recording the only four shots of the extra session. At 2:01, Petan delivered the game-winner. Andrej Šustr carried the puck across the Rockford blue line, leaving a drop pass for Petan. He quickly snapped off a wrist shot, using the screen to beat Soderblom with the game-winner.
It was the eighth goal of the season for Petan and his fourth in the last six games. The forward has been outstanding since December 23, scoring six goals and adding seven assists in his last 12 games. Rossi had an assist on the play and now has two points in each of his last three games.
Wallstedt continues his impressive run, winning his sixth straight game while moving to 11-7-3 overall. He has allowed six total goals over his last six games, lowering his goals-against average to 2.60.
The victory now gives the Iowa Wild (20-14-5) points in eight straight contests (7-0-1) and the club is 9-1-1 in their last 11 games. The victory technically puts the team into a third-place tie with the Manitoba Moose and the IceHogs, who all have 45 points.
The Wild continue their six-game homestand on Thursday when they welcome the Coachella Valley Firebirds (27-6-4) for the first time in franchise history. Coachella Valley leads the Pacific Division in their first season in the AHL. The puck drops at 7:00.
by Robert Pannier