Collin Delia shines as IceHogs win third in-a-row


Rolling along with points in 10 of their last 13 games and a 4-1-1 mark over their past six games, the Rockford IceHogs have been trending in the right direction after a roller-coaster start to the season. A period of play in which new team Captain Tyler Sikura called the team a Jekyll and Hyde-style of play. But playing behind solid goaltending recently, the IceHogs have found enough of a winning recipe.

One piece missing from that recipe, as of late, has been Collin Delia. After starting the season as the number three goalie in the Chicago Blackhawks organization, Delia has failed to show the form he displayed last season when he finished as one of the top goalies in the AHL. On Tuesday night, Delia would return to the Rockford net for his first start since November 15. He would make 37 saves in the effort and the IceHogs would top the Moose, 4-2.

IceHogs win physical battle over Moose

Starting a game on time is a well-known troupe in the hockey world. But cliché or not, the IceHogs started Tuesday night’s tilt against the Moose right on time. Drawing an early first period penalty, Rockford got on the board first thanks to a nice move right at the goal-crease by MacKenzie Entwistle to score his fifth of the season. In his first start in net since November 15, Collin Delia helped start the powerplay breakout for the IceHogs and recorded his first professional point with a secondary assist on the play.

Less than a minute later, the Moose were able to tie the game back up at 1-1, but the tie wouldn’t last long. Joni Tuulola scored his second goal of the year to give the IceHogs a 2-1 lead, blasting a shot from the blue line for the tally. But much like the 1-0 lead for Rockford, the 2-1 lead wouldn’t last long as the Moose battled back again in the opening period, scoring on their first powerplay chance of the game. The teams combined for 29 shots (17-12 Manitoba) and four goals in a physical first period of action.

While the second period didn’t see the same scoring action as the first, the pace and physicality continued all the same in the middle frame. Rockford had a golden chance to break the 2-2 tie mid-way through the second period as Tuulola came out of the penalty box and had a breakaway chance, only to lose his footing and crash into Manitoba goaltender Mikhail Berdin.

Rockford’s hard work on the penalty kill in the second period would later be rewarded. After killing-off their second penalty of the period, Brandon Hagel was sprung off the left-wing side and scored a beautiful forehand to backhand goal to give the IceHogs the 3-2 lead late in the second period. Hagel’s sixth goal of the season, he leads all Rockford rookies in goal-scoring this season. Rockford would hold their third lead of the game into the second intermission, looking for their ninth win of the season at home with twenty minutes left to play.

Playing a major role in the IceHogs keeping the 3-2 lead alive was Delia, specifically on a mid-period powerplay chance for the Moose. Rockford was able to thwart the Manitoba attack thanks in large part to a pad save by Delia, denying the Moose a two-on-one chance. Following the penalty-kill, Tyler Sikura had a breakaway chance but could not convert, It was the third breakaway opportunity for Rockford following a penalty kill, with Hagel converting the only goal.

Nick Moutrey would convert an empty net goal and the IceHogs came away 4-2 winners over the Moose. Delia with a vintage performance as the IceHogs win their third in-a-row. They are now 12-0-1 when scoring three or more goals in a game and are 5-0-0 when MacKenzie Entwistle scores a goal. Fun facts.

What’s Next?

The Rockford IceHogs are back in action on Friday night as they travel to take on the Grand Rapids Griffins. Puck drop for Friday is set for 6 p.m. CST at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Rockford holds a 2-2-0 record against the Griffins this season. Following Friday’s action, the IceHogs return home for a Saturday night contest against the Milwaukee Admirals. Saturday night’s game is also set for a 6 p.m. CST puck drop at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford. It is the first meeting between the IceHogs and Admirals this season, with the teams squaring-off twelve times this year.

Center Ice Forums Collin Delia shines as IceHogs win third in-a-row

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