By Jim Hagerty
DOWNTOWN — Matthew Highmore scored twice and Collin Delia had 33 saves in net as the Rockford IceHogs skated past the San Antonio Rampage 3-1 here Tuesday.
Highmore opened the scoring 18:56 into the first period. The marker was a redirected Viktor Svedberg slap shot from the point that Highmore popped by San Antonio goaltender Spencer Martin. That would be all the scoring until midway through the second stanza. That’s when Felix Girard slipped the equalizer under Collin Delia’s pads at the 8:01 mark.
It was all Rockford in the third. Just 27 seconds in, Highmore received a pass in the left-wing corner, skated to the low slot and beat Martin short side with a backhander.
Adam Clending’s power play strike at 8:06 made it 3-1.
“In the first period, we were solid,” coach Jeremy Colliton said. “We had some penalties to kill and I thought we did a really good job in those situations. In the second, we were not so good and lucky to come out of it 1-1. In the third, we found a way to manage the puck much better.”
With his 19th and 20th goals Tuesday, Highmore is the first IceHogs rookie to break the 20-goal barrier since Tanner Kero in 2015-16.
“It’s a good feeling, but to me it’s about the wins,” Highmore said. “My teammates put me in a good spot to put pucks in the back of the net and when I get the chance I have to do that.”
The win was Delia’s seventh in the AHL. Martin had 25 saves for San Antonio. Rockford has recorded standings points in its last six games (4-0-1-1).
Next Home Game
The IceHogs take on their Central Division-rival Milwaukee Admirals Friday, Feb. 9. Puck drop is at 7 p.m., and the first 1,000 fans 21 and older will receive a free pair of IceHogs grill tongs, courtesy of Bud Light. R.