Big third period lifts IceHogs past Stars

ROCKFORD – Dylan Sikura scored his first career AHL goal as part of Rockford’s three-goal third period to push the IceHogs to a 5-3 victory in front of a packed home-opening crowd of 4,773 Friday night at the BMO Harris Bank Center.

The win marked the IceHogs’ first victory of the season, improving their record to 1-2-0-0.

Collin Delia stopped 34 of 37 shots and earned his first win in his second start of the season.

The IceHogs got off to a familiar start, with Tyler Sikura opening the scoring on a power-play goal assisted by his brother, Dylan four minutes into the first period. It was the second consecutive contest in which the Sikura brothers connected on the power play for the first goal of the game.

The Rockford lead wouldn’t last long, as James Phelan and Denis Gurianov responded for Texas to give the Stars a 2-1 lead entering the first intermission.

Henrik Samuelson evened the score for the IceHogs on a shot from the slot assisted by Joni Tuulola and Dennis Gilbert. The Stars answered once again with a tally from Justin Dowling midway through the second, boosting Texas to a 3-2 lead heading to the third period.

In need of a comeback, the IceHogs erupted for three unanswered goals in the third period.

Matheson Iacopelli jumpstarted the rally at the 11:06 mark of the frame when he capped off a nifty passing play from Graham Knott and Blake Hillman. Sikura lifted the ‘Hogs to the lead just under three minutes later, wiring a shot on the rush past Texas goaltender Colton Point.

Darren Raddysh iced the game on an empty-netter with 53 seconds remaining.

The IceHogs will seek to complete a perfect home-opening weekend Sunday afternoon against the Hershey Bears. R.

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