After a big win against the Chicago Wolves on Wednesday last week, the Rockford IceHogs (7-13-1-0) looked to continue their success against the Iowa Wild (10-9-4-0) in Des Moines.
An action-packed first period was kicked off by a Cody Franson hooking minor that sent the Wild to the power play. It wasn't Iowa that cashed in, though. Josiah Slavin maintained the puck after a scrum near the penalty boxes and was able to pound home his third goal in just his fourth AHL game to make it 1-0 'Hogs. Michael Krutil was credited with the assist.
With just over ten minutes remaining, the Wild knotted the game at one as Damien Giroux found a rebound off of Cale Morris' blocker and buried it. The second half of the period featured a big 5-on-3 kill by Rockford and plenty of shots from both teams. The first period ended with the score tied and the shot totals favoring Iowa, 12-11.
The second period featured mostly Iowa action. At the nine-minute mark, Will Bitten followed up his own shot and put away another rebound off of Morris to give the home team a 2-1 advantage. Shortly after, a long shot by Mason Shaw found the back of the net behind a screened Morris to double the Wild lead. An argument for goalie interference was quickly negated.
As the period went on, the Hogs had a chance to capitalize on a tired Iowa team who couldn't make a change, but all chances went awry, holding the score at 3-1. As time was expiring, Iowa argued that a puck that hit the post actually crossed the line, but after a quick review, the no-goal call held up. The game entered the intermission with the Wild leading 3-1 after two periods of play.
Just after the third period began, 'Hogs forward Evan Barratt left the game with a lower-body injury and did not return. The frame went on with back-and-forth action from both clubs, but not many high-leverage chances were had.
Fast forward to the clock reading 3:46, Rockford pulled Cale Morris for the extra attacker. Just seconds after Morris reached the bench, Wild forward Gerry Mayhew lifted the puck down the ice and into the cage for his team's fourth goal of the game, making it 4-1 Iowa and sealing Tuesday night's contest. Wild net minder Dereck Baribeau stood tall between the pipes, making 27 stops on 28 shots. Morris finished the game facing 33 Wild shots.
Despite the loss for Rockford, Slavin continues his hot start to his pro career. Five points (3G, 2A) in his first four games has made him the hottest forward on the team.
Next up for the IceHogs will be those pesky Chicago Wolves at BMO Harris Bank Center. The puck drops on Saturday, April 17 at 6:00 PM CDT.