Saturday, November 18 | Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, IA
Des Moines, Iowa. - Rookie Colton Dach recorded his first professional hat trick in just his seventh pro game to lift the Rockford IceHogs over the Iowa Wild in a 4-3 shootout victory at Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday night. Dach also provided the shootout winner for Rockford.
Just as in Rockford's 5-4 overtime loss on Friday, the opposition struck late in the third period and last-second heroics were needed by Rockford to win. Iowa's Adam Beckman scored with two minutes left in the third to force overtime. Jaxson Stauber played one of his best games of the season in net for Rockford with 25 saves on 28 Iowa shots, including four saves in overtime, along with two critical stops in the shootout.
Dach scored in each period of the game and became the first IceHogs player to record a hat trick since Luke Philp did so against the Chicago Wolves on Apr. 11 of last season.
In Rockford's previous five wins, scoring first proved critical and entering Saturday night, all five of the IceHogs' victories started with multiple goals in the first frame. Colton Dach led off the scoring against the Wild at the 3:22 mark with his second professional goal in as many nights. Ross MacDougall moved the puck from the blue line to the goal line for Anders Bjork, who then found David Gust at the right circle. Gust sent a puck towards the net that Dach redirected into the cage from in front of the Iowa crease.
Iowa answered back three minutes later with a shorthanded goal. On the IceHogs' first power-play chance of the night, former Blackhawk Jujhar Khaira capitalized on a Rockford turnover and backhanded the puck past IceHogs goaltender Jaxson Stauber to tie the game at 1-1 (6:41).
Rockford dominated the second period and outshot Iowa 17-6 in the frame. Through the first four minutes of the second stanza, the IceHogs outshot the Wild 10-1.
In the middle of the period, Rockford's pressure paid off in the form of Dach's second goal of the night. Nolan Allan and MacDougall worked to get Dach the puck, and the rookie lasered the puck past Iowa goaltender Zane McIntyre on the glove side (11:35). MacDougall picked up his first AHL point with an assist on the play.
Just over a minute into the third period, Dach struck again and completed his first professional hat trick. Gust split the Iowa defense and served a shot that pinged off both posts before deflecting to the high slot where the rookie zipped a shot past McIntyre to give Rockford a 3-1 lead (1:03).
Iowa answered Dach's hat trick goal quickly. The 3-1 score lasted for 23 seconds before Pavel Novak scored his second goal of the season to cut Rockford's lead in half (1:26).
Pressuring late with an empty net for the extra skater, the Wild punched across the tying goal with just under two minutes left in regulation. Skating at 6-on-5, Khaira mailed a puck from the left boards to the far circle where Adam Beckman blasted a one-timer into the net (18:01).
After two more tense minutes of regulation, the game reached overtime where both teams produced chances. Stauber came up with several big saves on Iowa forwards from in tight and managed to stop all four shots that the Wild poured on goal in the extra frame.
Following five minutes of 3-on-3, Stauber came up with two more crucial saves in the shootout on Adam Beckman and Steven Fogarty. Iowa's Sammy Walker was able to beat Stauber on the glove side.
Joey Anderson hit the crossbar on Rockford's first attempt, but Cole Guttman deked around McIntyre and scored on the backhand to pot the IceHogs' first score in the shootout and answer Walker's goal. With the game on his stick as the third shooter, Dach slipped the puck past McIntyre's glove on the backhand to seal the victory for Rockford.
The IceHogs match up with the Wild again tomorrow at 3 p.m. CT at Wells Fargo Arena.
Wednesday Meijer Family Pack Day
Next Wednesday, Nov. 22 is Meijer Family Pack Day at the BMO Center with packs starting at just $40! Secure 2 upper sideline tickets, 2 slices of Pizza Hut pizza, 2 soft drinks, 2 IceHogs souvenir cups, 1 Meijer goodie bag, 1 parking pass. Meijer Family Pack Day is presented by media partners WTVO 17, FOX 39 and B103.
Wet Your Whistle Wednesday
Next Wednesday is also another Wet Your Whistle Wednesday presented by Power 106.3! Grab a ticket and 2 drinks for just $20.
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 in High Definition on 19.2 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.