The Rockford IceHogs (2-7-1-0) defeated the Iowa Wild on Saturday night behind a gutsy performance from Collin Delia and multi-point nights from their defensemen.
Iowa got the scoring started early in the first period. Gabriel Dumont put his team in front 1-0 when he poked home a loose puck during a scramble. Rockford had an answer for that tally and then some.
Cody Franson let the biscuit fly from the point to tie the game at 1-1 with help from Nicolas Beaudin and Andrei Altybarmakyan. Later in the frame, Matej Chalupa fired one by Iowa goalie Hunter Jones to give the Hogs a 2-1 advantage. Beaudin and Franson earned the helpers on that marker, giving each of them two points in the first 20 minutes.
The middle frame saw more bounce-back play from IceHogs' goalie Collin Delia. His first few appearances since being assigned to Rockford were shaky, but his play in this game was much different. Franson padded the lead with help from Beaudin and Brandon Pirri to give the Hogs a 3-1 edge.
Late in the period, the Wild answered back when veteran Cody McLeod nudged the puck across the goal line to make it a 3-2 hockey game heading into the second intermission.
The final period saw plenty of action, but Rockford was able to hang on. A few posts for the home squad were the only thing keeping the Hogs from extending their lead. The penalty kill survived a few infractions with less than ten minutes to go as the Wild had grade-A chances on Delia. The California native made one of the craziest saves you'll see this season, keeping Rockford's one-goal lead in tact.
With their goalie pulled, Iowa made a final push, but couldn't cash in that game-tying tally. The IceHogs hang on for their second win of the season, beating the Wild 3-2.
Cool & Tough Award(s)
There were plenty of bright spots in tonight's matchup for the 'Hogs. The pair of obvious ones were Cody Franson with his two goals, and Collin Delia's miraculous stop within his 35 saves. The other notable name was Nicolas Beaudin. His multi-point effort on Saturday continued the line of great games for the young defenseman since returning to Rockford. Not taking anything away from the other players, but it seems like anyone who gets paired with Franson has above-average performances.
There isn't too much time to get hung up on this win for Rockford, both of these teams will turn right around and do it all over again tomorrow at 4:00 PM CST at BMO Harris Bank Center.