By Jim Hagerty
DES MOINE, Iowa–The Rockford IceHogs (9-2-0-1) notched their seventh consecutive win with a 5-3 decision over the Iowa Wild (2-8-0-0) in a morning showdown here Thursday, Nov. 6.
Rockford took control early as Pierre-Cedric Labrie knocked in a Matt Carey rebound. An Iowa penalty then paid off for Rockford when ‘Hogs’ Captain Joakim Nordstom took a Brandon Mashinter pass and made it 2-0 on a nifty power-power play goal at 13:33.
After peppering Wild netminder John Curry with 21 shots in the opening period, the IceHogs didn’t let up in the second. Taking a setup by Carey and T.J. Brennan, Drew LeBlanc slid a backhander past Curry to make it 3-0. Mark McNeill made it 4-0 at 13:42 with his sixth goal of the year.
The Wild fought back, however. Iowa’s Brady Bassart cut the Rockford lead to three with 1:15 left in the second. It became a 4-2 contest with 15 ticks remaining when Marc Hagel knocked a bouncing puck past Rockford’s Scott Darling.
It remained 4-2 Rockford until late in the final period and the momentum shifted in the Wild’s direction. When Jordan Schroeder went top shelf on Darling to make make it 4-3, Iowa seemed to be in business. Nordstom had other ideas, ending the Wild surge by cleaning up on an Adam Clendening shot to make it 5-3.
Curry stopped 39 Rockford Shots while Darling turned the Wild away 30 times, keeping his record perfect at 5-0-0.
The IceHogs are back at the BMO Harris Bank Center Saturday, Nov. 8, for a Military Night contest against the Grand Rapids Griffins. The first 2,500 fans will get a free IceHogs camouflage hat thanks to Pepsi. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.