Wallstedt Stymies Roadrunners in Wild Victory, 2-1
DES MOINES, IA – He may not have used Acme products to assist him, but Jesper Wallstedt shut down the Tucson Roadrunners on Friday, stopping 26 shots in a 2-1 victory. Ryan O’Rourke and Sammy Walker scored for the Wild.
Both Wallstedt and Tucson netminder Matthew Villalta were outstanding early on sending the game to the first intermission scoreless. The incredible play continued into the second, but Iowa was finally able to break through 7:15 into the frame. Walker had the puck along the half-boards inside the Roadrunners zone. He moved toward the net, sliding a backhand attempt through the legs of Villalta for his seventh goal of the year.
Early in the third, the lead became two. At 3:38, Greg Meireles moved the puck back to O’Rourke at the point. He blasted a shot that beat the Tucson netminder over the glove hand for his third of the year.
Wallstedt had shut down the Roadrunners through the first 58 minutes, but Tucson finally got on the board with 1:51 left. Victor Soderstrom moved the puck to Josh Doan at the left faceoff dot. He blasted a shot that found its way through traffic and past Wallstedt for his 18th goal of the season.
Despite giving up the goal, Wallstedt was brilliant in this contest, stopping 26 shots. It was his second straight victory, and he has allowed three total goals over those two games. Villalta stopped 29 shots in the loss.
The Roadrunners (28-14-2) will take on the Wild (16-25-3) in Des Moines again on Saturday. The puck drops at 6:00.
By Robert Pannier