Toronto – The Rockford IceHogs were unable to catch the Toronto Marlies after a three-goal second period from the hosts and dropped a 5-3 loss on Wednesday afternoon at the Coca-Cola Coliseum. Defenseman Koltrane Wilson registered his first AHL goal in his IceHogs debut.
Back in his home province, forward Dylan Sikura tallied first for the IceHogs on Wednesday morning to take a 1-0 lead. Defenseman Alex Vlasic directed a pass to Sikura at center ice, and the winger broke away from two Toronto defenders to flick a wrister behind Marlies netminder Erik Källgren in the slot, bouncing the puck off both posts and in at 12:30 in the first period.
The Marlies evened the score and then took the lead to start the middle frame with back-to-back goals. Forward Dryden Hunt caught a pass from Kyle Clifford and lifted a wrist shot over the glove of Rockford goalie Arvid Soderblom at 1:12, tying the game 1-1. After Soderblom made a diving save to deny Orrin Centazzo’s attempt to knock in a rebound, forward Pontus Holmberg deflected a shot from Marshall Rifai at the left point and tipped the puck past the blocker of Soderblom at 2:34 to give Toronto a 2-1 lead.
Continuing to apply pressure in the second period, Toronto forward Max Ellis fired a shot immediately off a face-off that sailed over the shoulder of a screened Soderblom at 9:17 to extend the Marlies lead to 3-1.
Rockford cut Toronto’s lead back to one goal halfway through the middle stanza when Wilson netted his first professional goal in his debut in a Hogs sweater. As Michal Teply tapped a pass up the right boards, Wilson launched a wrister from the right point that snuck over the shoulder of Källgren at 11:34, shortening the Marlies’ lead to 3-2.
Opening the third frame and extending the Marlies’ lead to 4-2, Ellis scored his second goal of the contest, and it was almost identical to his first of the morning. Firing a wrister from the edge of the left circle, Ellis sniped the puck past the glove of Soderblom right after the face-off drop at 1:46.
The Hogs fought back to slice the lead to 4-3 on their fourth power play of the match halfway through the final period. Vlasic rocketed a wrist shot from the right point, and newly-minted alternate captain Luke Philp tipped the shot past Källgren from the slot at 8:36, lighting the lamp for the eighth time on the man advantage this season.
With an empty net and an extra skater at 18:33, the Marlies sealed the morning match with an empty-netter from forward Joseph Blandisi with three seconds left to play.
Soderblom marked 32 saves on 36 Toronto shots, and Källgren turned away 21 of 24 Rockford shots to earn the win.
Next Home Game
The next home game for Rockford is Wednesday, March 15 against the Manitoba Moose at 7 p.m. for Wet Your Whistle Wednesday. Get a ticket to the game and two drink tickets (good for beer, soft drinks, or water) for just $20. To unlock the offer on Ticketmaster, use code WYWED before selecting your seats.
Tune In LIVE on the IceHogs Broadcast Network Presented by BMO
Watch and listen to every game this season on the IceHogs Broadcast Network presented by BMO! Listen from your favorite device, at home, or on the road at IceHogs.com and on the IceHogs app and watch LIVE on AHLTV and selected games on 23.3 Circle TV! Fans can also tune in on all of Mid-West Family’s local stations including 104.9 The X, B103, 95.3 The Bull, and Rockford Greatest Hits 100.5 and featured on Rock River Current, the Stateline’s premiere source for local events, news and culture.