Wild’s Comeback Thwarted in Shootout Loss to Barracuda
DES MOINES, IA – The Iowa Wild opened the 2022-23 season in exciting fashion on Friday, rallying from a two-goal deficit to force overtime. However, Andrew Agozzino scored the game-winner in the seventh round of the shootout to give the San Jose Barracuda a 4-3 victory. Sammy Walker recorded two points for Iowa and Jesper Wallstedt made 22 saves.
San Jose jumped out to a decisive lead, opeingn the contest with three unanswered goals, including two in the first period. Tristen Robins found a loose puck at the blueline, then moved to his right, down along the outer slot before moving in on Wallstedt. As he approached, he lifted the puck over the left pad of the Wild netminder to make it 1-0.
That came at 3:06, and less than three minutes later Thomas Bordeleau gave the Barracuda a 2-0 lead. Patrick Sieloff fed the puck to Bordeleau just below the left face-off circle, who beat Wallstedt to the short side.
The Wild goaltender settled down, stopping eight shots in the first period, but his team trailed by two and would find themselves trailing by three just 1:03 into the second frame. With San Jose on the power play Derrick Pouliot fired a shot that Scott Reedy deflected past a heavily screened Wallstedt to extend the lead to make it 3-0.
They Wild looked like they were going to be blown out before the crowd of over 8000, but Mason Shaw cut the deficit to one he scored his first goal of the season with a little less than six minutes left in the second period. Nic Petan gained control the puck, passing it in front to Shaw alone in slot. The Wild Captain lifted a backhander over the shoulder of Aaron Dell to make it 3-1.
San Jose continued to hold a two-goal lead, and it looked like they would skate away with the season-opening victory, but Iowa was relentless, scoring two goals in the final 4:11 to force overtime. The first came at 15:49 when Walker took a shot that Dell saved, but Joseph Cramarossa scooped up the rebound and scored to make this a one-goal game.
As time was winding down, Walker scored his first professional goal just before the horn sounded to tie the game at three. Daemon Hunt took a shot that Joe Hicketts deflected, but Dell made a nice pad save. Walker quickly scooped up the rebound, putting the backhander past the San Jose goaltender just before the end of regulation.
If the Barracuda were stunned by the turn of events, it did not show, as both teams had a number of great opportunities to score in overtime. Iowa did have the better of the play, outshooting San Jose 5-2 and outshot the Barracuda 39-26 in the contest. However, neither team could score in the extra frame. That sent the game to shootout where Max Veronneau and Petan each scored in the second round then the goaltenders took over, with each stopping the next four shooters. In the seventh round, Agozzino finally ended the contest, beating Wallstedt with a nice move to give San Jose a 4-3 victory.
Iowa was denied on all seven of the power-play opportunities. Wallstedt stopped 22 of 25 shots. Dell made 36 saves for the Barracuda.
The 10th season for the Iowa Wild (0-0-1) continues on Saturday when they welcome San Jose once again. The puck drops at 6:00.
by Robert Pannier