The Rockford IceHogs (0-2-1-0) fell to the Iowa Wild (2-1-1-0) on Saturday night in a low-scoring affair.
It was the first game that the IceHogs played in front of fans. Approximately 3,000 fans attended the game at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.
The first set of 20 served the IceHogs well. Forward Brad Morrison lit the lamp twice in his Rockford debut. Chad Yetman earned a pair of assists on those tallies and Mitchell Fossier, also making his professional hockey debut, registered an assist on the second goal, roughly ten minutes after Morrison’s first goal. Despite Rockford’s success on the man advantage, both tallies came at even strength.
Iowa came out swinging offensively in the middle frame. Rockford goalie Matt Tomkins was giving up juicy rebounds that were cleared away by defensemen, but created momentum for the Wild. In transition, Gabriel Dumont netted his team-leading fourth goal to cut the Hogs’ lead in half. Later in the period during 4-on-4 play, the Wild tied the game on a backhand goal from Damien Giroux. This was after the IceHogs had a power play chance, but a tripping call ended the man advantage for Rockford. Iowa’s momentum continued, but Tomkins made timely saves to keep the score locked at 2-2 as the second period ended.
The final frame only saw four shots in the first ten minutes. Just past the halfway point, IceHogs’ captain Garrett Mitchell and Wild goal scorer Dumont dropped the gloves in the neutral zone. It was quite the defensive frame for both teams, neither were able to find the back of the net, with the shot advantage in the period favoring the visitors 8-to-2. Iowa was tagged with a too many men penalty toward the end of the period that carried over into extra time for Rockford.
Both teams had their chances in extra time. With a few minutes gone, Will Bitten was awarded a penalty shot but was stonewalled by Tomkins. On the ensuing face-off, Iowa’s Adam Beckman fired home a low shot that won the game for the Wild. 3-2 was the final score from Wells Fargo Arena.
Shots in the contest were 36-30 in favor of Iowa. Tomkins played quite well along with the entire team’s defensive effort getting a boost. Fossier’s pro debut was impressive as was Morrison’s.
The club will get a few days off before taking on the Chicago Wolves on Tuesday night at the BMO in Rockford. Puck drop is set for 6:00 PM CST.