DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa Wild (30-20-9-5; 74 points) fell to Rockford IceHogs (33-24-4-4; 74 points) by a score of 4-2 Monday evening at Wells Fargo Arena.
Iowa allowed the first goal of the game for the 13th time in the last 15 games, as Rockford forward Graham Knott opened the scoring for the visitors at5:43 in the first period. Knott was camped out in front of Wild goaltender Niklas Svedberg (20 saves) and redirected a shot from defenseman Luc Snuggerud to give Rockford the 1-0 lead.
The IceHogs doubled its lead off a power-play tally from forward Luke Johnson. Johnson received a pass from defenseman Cody Franson at the top of the right circle and rifled the shot over Svedberg’s glove. His goal was his 13th of the season and gave the visitors a 2-0 lead at the 12:23 mark in the opening frame.
Wild forward Mitch McLain brought Iowa within one with the first goal of his professional career at 15:59 in the first period. Wild forward Kyle Rau forced a turnover right at the blue line and carried the puck deep into the zone along the left boards before making a pass to forward Gerry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald immediately forwarded the pass to McLain, who one-timed the puck through the legs of IceHogs goaltender Jeff Glass (31 saves) and into the back of the net.
Rockford quickly answered back with a goal credited to forward Chris Didomenico. Didomenico ripped a shot from above the left circle, which clanked off the crossbar. The puck then hit defenseman Alex Grant and trickled across the goal line, giving the IceHogs a 3-1 lead at 17:19 in the first period.
Rockford entered the first intermission with a 3-1 lead and an 11-8 shot advantage.
Didomenico recorded his second score of the game at 3:18 in the second period for Rockford’s second power-play tally. Didomenico took a slap shot, which beat Svedberg glove side and gave the visitors a 4-1 lead.
Wild forward Kyle Rau registered his 17th goal of the season at 17:34 in the middle stanza, cutting Iowa’s deficit to 4-2. On the power play, O’Reilly sent a pass to Rau through Glass’ crease and Rau buried his chance on a tough-angle shot. Defenseman Zach Palmquist earned a secondary assist on the play.
After two periods, Rockford held a 4-2 scoring lead while Iowa outshot the IceHogs 21-18.
Rockford completed its scoring with an empty-net goal from defenseman Viktor Svedberg at 17:34 in the final frame and Iowa fell 5-2. The Wild outshot the IceHogs 33-25 Monday night, marking the fourth consecutive game and six times in the team’s last seven games Iowa has held the shot advantage, the most of any stretch of games this season.
Iowa returns to action Friday with a game against Grand Rapids Griffins at Wells Fargo Arena. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m.
The Iowa Wild 2017-18 season is presented by Mercy Medical Center and runs from October through April. For more information, please contact the Wild office by calling 515-564-8700 or by visiting www.iowawild.com.