Wild Drop Seventh Straight, Fall to IceHogs
DES MOINES, IA – The Iowa Wild dropped their seventh straight game (0-5-2), losing to the Rockford IceHogs on Sunday, 5-3. Zane McIntyre had a tough game between the pipes, stopping just 11 of 15 shots. Nic Petan and Steven Fogarty had a goal and an assist for the Wild. Dylan Sikura scored a hat trick for Rockford.
Rockford jumped out in front 12:34 into the contest when Sikura netted his first goal of the game. The IceHogs forward made a great play near his own blueline, stealing the puck, then heading the opposite direction on a breakaway. He beat McIntyre with a wrist shot for his 11th goal of the season.
With 30 seconds left in the frame, Petan tied the score with his 14th goal of the season. Marco Rossi passed the puck to Petan in the slot, who fired a laser past Arvid Soderblom to tie the score at one.
Rockford would not the only tally of the second period when Lukas Reichel scored his 17th goal of the season at the 10:48 mark. Adam Clendening set up the play, intercepting a Wild attempt to clear the puck out of their own zone. He then found Reichel at the far post, who beat McIntyre to make it 2-1.
The IceHogs had just 10 shots through the first two periods, but held a one goal advantage and would extend their lead to two at the 6:08 mark of the third. Alex Vlasic took a shot that was saved by McIntyre, but Sikura put in the rebound for his second goal of the game.
Sammy Walker cut the deficit to one a little over four minutes later. He created a turnover in the neutral zone, sending himself on a breakaway. As he approached Soderblom, he got the Rockford netminder leaning one direction before putting the puck past him for his team-leading 22nd goal of the year.
Sikura restored the two-goal advantage with a little under four minutes left in the contest. He beat McIntyre with a wrist shot over the glove for his 13th goal of the year.
Back the Wild came, as Fogarty scored with 1:20 left in the contest to pull Iowa back within a goal. Petan took a shot that Soderblom saved, but Fogarty knocked in the rebound to make it 4-3.
The Wild pulled their netminder looking for the equalizer, but D.J. Busdeker scored an empty net goal with five seconds left in the contest to seal the victory.
The loss dropped the Iowa Wild (22-19-9) into fifth place in the Central Division. They are seven points ahead of Grand Rapids for the final playoff spot. The Wild will look to end their skid on Tuesday when they welcome the Chicago Wolves (19-23-5). The puck drops at 7:00.
by Robert Pannier