DES MOINES, IA-The Rockford IceHogs were engaged in a see-saw affair at Wells Fargo Arena Tuesday night. Both teams lit up the scoreboard, but the IceHogs were able to take control of the game in the second period. Paced by a David Gust hat trick, Rockford picked up its first win over Iowa in four tries this season with a 7-4 victory.
The win gives the Hogs (13-7-1-2) some cushion for third place in the Central Division. Entering the game, the Wild were looking to leapfrog Rockford in the division standings. The action was back and forth, but Gust and the IceHogs were too much for Iowa as the contest went on.
Marco Rossi got Iowa out to a 1-0 advantage 3:35 into the game, weaving through neutral ice and breaking clear with Nic Petan in tow. Rossi’s shot beat Rockford goalie Mitchell Weeks at the front of the net to complete the two-on-one rush. The Wild controlled play in the first 15 minutes of action, with Weeks making several nice stops to keep the score down early.
The IceHogs flipped the momentum late in the opening frame, taking advantage of a high-sticking penalty by Petan that drew blood from Rockford’s Brett Seney. With Alec Regula and Kevin Conley in the box after an altercation, the Hogs converted on a four-on-three power play with an Adam Clendening one-timer at the 16:52 mark.
The goal came just in time for Rockford to get a second chance on the back half of Petan’s double-minor. The IceHogs stuck it to the Wild for the second time in 45 seconds when Gust skated into the slot and received a pass from Seney. Gust sent a backhanded shot past the blocker of Iowa goalie Jesper Wallstedt at 17:37 of the period for a 2-1 Rockford lead at the first intermission.
Gust just doin' what he does best pic.twitter.com/hin9inP8hZ
— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) December 14, 2022
Iowa came out firing in the second period, getting a power play after Carson Gicewicz was called for delay of game penalty. Aided by an excellent screen by Steven Fogarty, Adam Beckman sent the puck past Weeks from the right circle, tying the game 2-2 just 1:34 into the second.
Back came Rockford just a minute later. Dylan Sikura took a pass from Cole Guttman coming into the Iowa zone and skated along the left half boards. Guttman got in front of the crease, tipping in Sikura’s centering pass at the 2:37 mark for a 3-2 Hogs lead.
The Wild got an equalizer midway through the second and did it down a skater. Fogarty picked the pocket of Seney, who was bringing the puck across the red line on another Rockford power play. Skating ahead of the rear guard, Fogarty flipped the puck over the glove of Weeks, making it a 3-3 contest at 9:03 of the second.
and that's how you take advantage of a pk 🤌
🚨: Steven Fogarty#10WAGROWN | #RFDvsIA pic.twitter.com/7IH36PpPz7
— Iowa Wild (@IAWild) December 14, 2022
The rink tipped back to the Iowa net for the next few minutes, during which the IceHogs potted two goals. Both were set up by Lukas Reichel, who fed Gust got his second of the evening at 12:54 of the second. Just 31 seconds later, Reichel drove down the slot and hit Filip Roos at the left faceoff dot. The shot glanced off the left post and settled into the net for a 5-3 Rockford advantage. That was the score heading into the locker room after forty minutes.
Zane McIntyre came in to relieve Wallstedt to start the third period. The change did not bother Gust, who completed the hat trick at the 3:08 mark. Gust quickly nabbed Regula’s shot off the endboards and beat the new Iowa goalie to the left post to make it 6-3 Rockford.
— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) December 14, 2022
The IceHogs continued to pour it on in the third period, with Guttman getting a piece of Clendening’s shot for a power-play goal 7:21 into the third as Rockford went up 7-3. After Roos was sent to the box for hooking, Iowa emptied its net and it paid off in the form of Fogarty’s second goal of the evening at 11:46 of the third. That was the last gasp for the Wild, who fall to 11-9-2-2 on the season.
- Early in the second period, Iowa’s Brandon Baddock and Rockford’s Buddy Robinson brawled coming off a faceoff. Both were assessed five-minute majors for fighting, plus game-misconducts for starting an altercation right after the faceoff.
- In the closing seconds, Fogarty was knocked down by Hogs defenseman Issak Phillips. Fogarty left the ice in noticeable distress and there was a post-game scrum that saw Phillips, Guttman, and Rossi handed roughing minors.
- Gust (3 G, 1 A on the night) is now Rockford’s top goal scorer with thirteen. Other three-point nights include Reichel and Sikura (3 helpers each) and Clendening (1 G, 2 A).
- Weeks had 28 saves to pick up his fourth win of the season. He was the busiest of the goalies, as the Wild out shot Rockford 32-25. Wallstedt gave up five goals on 19 shots; McIntyre allowed two goals on six shots.
- Roos, who was playing in his first game since being sent to Rockford by the Chicago Blackhawks, picked up his first AHL goal.
- Rockford returns home to host Toronto and Hartford on Friday and Saturday. The Wild continue a seven-game home stand with a pair of games with Texas this weekend.
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