Photo by Jim Orlando
Rockford’s three game winning streak ends
Des Moines, Iowa.- More shots doesn’t always mean more goals. The Rockford IceHogs outshot the Iowa Stars 45-26 on Saturday night but fell 4-3 at the Wells Fargo Arena. The loss snapped the IceHogs three game winning streak and was the front end of a home-and-home series with Iowa.
The IceHogs tallied twice to grab an early 2-0 first period lead. Winger Kris Versteeg started the scoring at 7:02 when he picked up a redirected shot and fired it past Tobias Stephan for his 15th marker of the season. Petri Kontiola and Niklas Hjalmarsson assisted on the goal.
Rockford then added a second score while on the power play. The AHL’s leading power-play lamp-lighter Troy Brouwer notched his 21st man advantage goal and 31st overall at 9:31. The goal was set up by Kontiola and Justin Fletcher.
On the next shift, however, the Stars got a goal back. Winger Chris Conner swiped his 12th goal of the campaign past Corey Crawford at 10:25 making it 2-1 at the break. Janos Vas and Bryce Lampman assisted on the marker.
After a scoreless second period Iowa would explode for three goals in the third frame to go up 4-2. Tommy Wandell poked a loose puck underneath Crawford at 5:06 for his sixth goal of the season to tie the contest at 2-2.
Vas would give Iowa its first lead of the night when he snuck his 17th goal of the season past Crawford at 7:11. Chris Lee put Iowa up by a pair when he blasted in his seventh tally of the campaign at 7:48.
Rockford closed the gap to 4-3 with a power play marker from Versteeg, his second goal of the night. Martin St. Pierre and Jack Skille set it up at 13:38.
That’s all Rockford could muster as the Stars held on for their first win over Rockford in Iowa this season. Stephan made 42 saves to earn the win while Crawford was given the loss after turning away 22 Stars shots.
Next Home Game: Sunday, March 28 vs. Iowa Stars. Game time is slated for 4:05 p.m. The backend of a home-and-home series with Iowa concludes at the MetroCentre. The first 1,000 fans to the game will pick up the sixth and final IceHogs poster of the season from Pepsi, MedicineMan and Johnson Press. Sunday is also Family Faith Night at the MetroCentre as the IceHogs, Pepsi, Culver's, 101 WQFL and TV51 welcome the band Anavox.