ROCKFORD, Ill – The Iowa Wild (14-14-2-0, 30 points) defeated the Rockford IceHogs (15-16-3-1, 34 points) 3-2 in a shootout in front of 3,326 fans at the BMO Harris Bank Center on Friday night. Iowa forwards Carson McMillan, Tyler Graovac and Zack Phillips each scored in a shootout, as goaltender Johan Gustafsson stopped three of four attempts to preserve the extra point.
Gustafsson (5-5-0) stopped 37 of 39 in regulation to help his team improve to 4-1-0-0 against Rockford this year. Iowa defenseman Brian Connelly set up two goals, helping his club move to 7-3-1-0 on the road this season. Graovac and defenseman Jonathon Blum each scored in regulation. Rockford goalie Mac Carruth (2-2-1) stopped 23 of 25 in regulation and one of four in the shootout loss. Iowa continues a six-game road trip on Saturday with a 7 p.m. meeting at Chicago.
With its first power play of the game, Iowa connected for a late first-period goal to open the scoring. Center Warren Peters won a draw back to Brian Connelly. The defenseman sent a cross-ice pass to defensive partner Jonathon Blum, who blasted a shot through traffic and past Mac Carruth for the 1-0 lead. Blum’s fourth goal of the season came at 18:38, giving the Wild the lead after one period of play.
The IceHogs countered in the second period, tying the game 1-1 at 11:10 of the period. Forward Joakim Nordstrom snapped a wrist shot over the shoulder of goalie Johan Gustafsson. Defenseman Adam Clendening and forward Jeremy Morin each had an assist on Nordstrom’s ninth goal of the year.
Rockford pushed in front 2-1 at 6:16 of the third period, as forward Alex Broadhurst connected for a power-play goal. Broadhurst’s sixth goal of the season was set up by Brad Winchester and Clendening. Iowa countered just 52 seconds later at 7:06. After Jake Dowell’s attempt was stuffed by Carruth, Tyler Graovac buried the rebound. The Wild forward lifted a backhand shots over the shoulder of Carruth for his sixth goal of the season. Dowell and Brian Connelly each had an assist on the goal, tying the game 2-2.
After a scoreless overtime, Iowa and Rockford went to a shootout. Iowa’s scored on three of four shootout attempts, as Carson McMillan, Zack Phillips and Tyler Graovac beat Mac Carruth. The IceHogs scored on one of four attempts, with Joakim Nordstrom getting the lone shootout tally.