By Jim Hagerty
DES MOINES, Iowa — The Rockford IceHogs scored a lone goal in the first period and fell 2-1 to the Iowa Wild at the Wells Fargo Arena Saturday.
The loss is Rockford’s fifth in its last six contests.
Kurtis Gabriel put Iowa on the board at the 5:55 mark to grab the early lead. Tyler Sikura answered nearly two minutes later on a redirected Ville Pokka blast from the point. It was scoreless hockey for the next period-and-a-half, however. The IceHogs knocked on the door but Iowa goaltender Niklas Svedberg kept it closed on a myriad of scoring chances.
The game-winner came at 7:31 of the third, when Justin Kloos beat J.F. Berube, who hasn’t seen game action since Dec. 9, to put the Wild up 2-1.
Both netminders had solid nights, Berube with 27 saves and Svedberg 36 in front of his home crowd of 9,275.
With 56 standings points, the IceHogs (51-25-20-3-3) sit in fifth place in the AHL Central Division. Iowa is two points ahead, in second behind the Manitoba Moose.
NEXT HOME GAME: The IceHogs take on the 2016 Calder Cup champion Cleveland Monsters at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 13, at the BMO Harris Bank Center. If the Hogs win, tickets from Tuesday’s game can be redeemed for a ticket of equal or lesser value to the Wednesday, Feb. 28 Fas Fuel Winning Weekdays game. Fans can also enjoy $2 tacos, select beer, and companion tickets as part of Taco Tuesday. R.