ROCKFORD, Ill. – Tyler Sikura and Victor Ejdsell scored in a span of 1:07 to erase a 1-0 deficit in the second period, and Collin Delia stopped 36 of 37 shots to power the Rockford IceHogs to a 4-1 win over the Manitoba Moose in Game 3 of the Central Division Finals at the BMO Harris Bank Center on Wednesday night.
With their win, the IceHogs have won each of their six playoff outings this season, and are just one win shy of advancing to the Western Conference Finals. Their current six-game win streak ties a franchise record set during their 2007 UHL Championship run, while Delia, who has started each of those six consecutive victories, leads the AHL with a .953 save percentage and ranks second with a 1.52 GAA in that span. The IceHogs star netminder tied Frederic Cloutier’s franchise record for most consecutive playoff wins by a goalie, also set in 2007.
After Julian Melchiori helped Manitoba draw first blood for the third consecutive game just over a minute into the second stanza, Sikura responded on the power play, banging home a rebound from Adam Clendening’s shot. Sixty-seven seconds later, Ejdsell doubled Rockford’s advantage with a laser of a wrist shot from the right side off a rush. Ejdsell now has 4g-2a-6pts in his last five playoff contests.
The teams played a tight contest until 13:52 of the final frame, when William Pelletier netted an insurance marker to give the Hogs a 3-1 lead. Anthony Louis carried the puck behind the net and fed a pass against the grain to Pelletier, who had an open net to fire the puck home. Matthew Highmore added an empty-netter to seal Rockford’s win.
Manitoba netminder Eric Comrie countered Delia’s effort with 37 saves on 40 shots in the opposite crease.
Next Home Game: Friday, May 11 vs. Manitoba Moose (Calder Cup Playoffs | Game 4/Ticket E)
The Rockford IceHogs will host Game 4 (Ticket E) of their second-round 2017-18 Calder Cup playoff series against the Manitoba Moose on Friday, May 11 at 7 p.m. Friday’s contest is a “red out” and will feature a pregame Block Party from 5:15 – 7 p.m. on Elm St. Tickets can be purchased at IceHogs.com, by calling (815) 968-5222 or in-person at the BMO Harris Bank Center Box Office.