ROCKFORD, Ill. - Brandon Hagel and Jacob Nilsson each boasted multi-point games and Matt Tomkins stopped 20 of 21 shots to push the Rockford IceHogs past the Manitoba Moose 4-1 Wednesday night at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
The IceHogs opened scoring 7:20 into the initial frame when MacKenzie Entwistle dished the puck to Nilsson, who cut through the defense and broke in on a partial breakaway. Nilsson opened up his blade as if to fire a backhand shot but paused and sent a pass across the slot to Hagel, who wristed the puck past a diving Eric Comrie to put the Hogs up 1-0.
Manitoba tied it up prior to the end of the first period when Skyler McKenzie beat Tomkins. However, it proved to be the only shot to escape the Rockford netminder, as Tomkins earned the win in his first appearance since returning from winning the Spengler Cup with Canada.
Hagel netted his second of the contest midway through the middle stanza when Nilsson sprung Hagel on a breakaway. Hagel darted to the right hashmark and lasered a snap shot beneath Comrie's blocker hand to restore the IceHogs' one-goal lead.
Just over three minutes into the third period, Nilsson notched his third point of the evening on an end-to-end rush. Nilsson began behind the Rockford net and maneuvered around three Manitoba defenders to break in all alone; he blistered a wrist shot past Comrie to make it 3-1.
Finally, with 9:50 remaining in regulation, Tyler Sikura got in on the action when Dylan McLaughlin set him up on the back door. Sikura lifted a shot over Comrie's shoulder to secure the victory for the Hogs.
The win snapped a six-game skid, which was tied for the longest losing streak in Rockford's AHL history.
Bradon Hagel scored a pair of goals tonight to move into sixth place among AHL rookies with his 13 total goals on the season…Hagel has now also scored 11 of his 13 goals on home ice.
Jacob Nilsson produced a season-high three points tonight with a goal and two assists…The effort was his third three-point game of his AHL career (also a hat trick on Jan. 6, 2019 vs. Iowa and one goal with two helpers on Dec. 21, 2018 at Chicago).
Matt Tomkins has won four of his last five games since Nov. 10…He has combined for a .921 save percentage and 2.02 GAA over that span.