With Magnus Hellberg and Marek Mazanec playing great hockey, the Admirals were nursing a 1-0 lead late in third period. But the Iowa Wild finished strong, scoring the equalizer with 4:14 left in regulation, and a power play winner in overtime to give the home(ish) team the 2-1 victory on Friday afternoon in beautiful Moline, Illinois.
Scott Ford scored the lone Admiral goal just 1:45 into the game, after a nice pass from Miikka Salomaki.
Salomaki also played into the last goal in the game as well, for he was the one sitting in the penalty box for a boarding penalty, to give the Wild the 4-on-3 chance.
For the game winning goal, the Wild went ‘around the key’, with point-man Jon Blum passing to Zack Phillips at the left circle for a one-timer that beat Mazanec.
Hellberg saved all nine shots he faced in the first half of the game. Mazanec was sharp as well, despite allowing the two goals.
Simon Moser did not make the trip.
Pessimists will say they are concerned about offense, with the Admirals just scoring two goals in three pre-season games. Optimists will point to the sample size and the fact that it’s just pre-season. Optimists will also point out the Admirals goalies gave up just five goals in three season games (plus one empty netter). Early reviews on Mazanec have been positive. And Hellberg seems to be picking up right where he left off.
Let’s also hope that Fordo didn’t use up all of his goals for this season in the pre-season…
So Roundtable…how will you be passing the time until OUR opening night next Friday? Watching the NHL Center Ice preview? Camping out at Major Goolsby’s to get a good spot for the viewing party on Friday? Figuring out how much it would cost to get to Abbotsford for a quick weekend getaway? (Guy Lafleur will be making a special appearance on opening night over there) Counting lucky stars that Krys Kolanos isn’t with the Heat anymore?