The Rockford IceHogs came into the weekend riding a four-game win streak, having won five of their last home games. Closing their four-game homestand against the Manitoba Moose, the Hogs came up empty in a 4–0 defeat. Following the home loss, the IceHogs headed East to take on the Chicago Wolves for the fourth installment of the Illinois Lottery Cup Rivalry this season, having won the previous three games. Rockford would get another dominating effort, and this time would be rewarded with a 4-1 win over the Wolves.
IceHogs split weekend games against Moose and Wolves
Rockford was riding high, having won their last four games heading into Friday night’s contest against the Manitoba Moose, who were last in the AHL Central Division at the time. With Collin Delia in net, the IceHogs outshot the Moose 41–26, but were only 1–for–3 on the penalty kill and failed to score on five powerplay chances themselves as they fell 4–0 to the Moose. Delia saw his season record fall to 2–4–0, with a 4.09 GAA and a .867 save percentage.
Rockford closed a five-game homestand with a 4–1–0 record and moved to a .500 record of 6–6–0 on the year as they prepared to go “on the road” to face the Chicago Wolves on Sunday.
Rockford set a franchise-best start against the rival Wolves, winning the first three games of the season in the Illinois Lottery Cup rivalry. With a win on Sunday, Rockford could match the franchise-best marker with four-straight wins against Chicago.
Matt Tomkins got the start in net for the IceHogs, having won his previous start against the Wolves this season, making 31 saves in a win at Chicago on October 19. He entered the game with a 1–1–0 record, 3.39 GAA and a .908 save percentage in three appearances this season.
The Wolves got out to the first period lead, thanks to a power play goal late in the opening frame. It would be the third power play goal allowed by the IceHogs over their last four penalty-kill opportunities. While the IceHogs trailed the game, they dictated most of the action through the first two periods, and were rewarded in the second period with a goal from Anton Wedin, his third of the season to knot it up 1–1 in the middle period.
Click play, be stunned, rinse, repeat! 🚨 pic.twitter.com/yEzSqBOPYH
— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) November 10, 2019
Rockford continued their pressure in the third period and Lucas Carlsson provided a highlight-reel goal to give the IceHogs the 2–1 lead in the final frame. Rockford and Chicago would continue to get chippy as the third period wore on, inducing a few scrums along the way as the third period wound down. Matthew Highmore and Tyler Sikura would add an empty-net goals for the IceHogs to take a 3–1 and 4–1 lead in the final minutes and that would be the final. Rockford out-shot Chicago 38–19 and controlled the game from puck drop to the final horn.
Tomkins made 18 saves on 19 shots faced. His record moves to 2–1–0 after the 4-1 win. With the victory, the IceHogs have won all four games against the Wolves to start this season and match their longest win-streak over Chicago in AHL franchise history.
The IceHogs are back in action on Friday, November 15, as they travel to West Michigan to take on the Grand Rapids Griffins. Puck drop on Friday is set for 6 p.m. CST at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. Rockford lost the first meeting between the clubs back on October 12, 4–2 in Rockford.