DES MOINES, IA – The Iowa Wild (21-18-5-4, 51 points) were defeated by the Rockford IceHogs (25-21-4-3, 57 points) 5-3 in front of 10,115 fans at Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday night. IceHogs defenseman Adam Clendening broke a 3-3 tie with 7:16 left in regulation to push Rockford past Iowa
Rookie forward Erik Haula scored once and set up two others, as Iowa suffered only its second regulation loss at home in the last 13 outings. Rockford forwards Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Alex Broadhurst each picked up a goal and an assist, helping their team record points in six straight games. IceHogs goalie Jason LaBarbera (7-6-2) stopped 33 Iowa shots in the victory. Wild goalie Johan Gustafsson (8-11-2) made 34 saves in the loss.
Rockford opened the scoring at 18:27 of the first period with a goal by forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard. The center one-timed the puck over the shoulder of Iowa goalie Johan Gustafsson. Forwards Jeremy Morin and Alex Broadhurst each picked up an assist, helping their club to a 1-0 lead.
The IceHogs scored an early goal in the second period at 1:10 by forward Mark McNeill. The center fired a wrist shot from the right-wing circle, giving his club a 2-0 lead. Bouchard and defender Theo Peckham each assisted on McNeill’s 15th goal of the season. The Wild countered off a turnover at 3:34 with an unassisted goal by forward Erik Haula, his twelfth of the season. The left wing blasted the puck past IceHogs goalie Jason LaBarbera off a wrist shot cutting Rockford’s lead in half 2-1. The IceHogs fired back at 13:05 with a goal by Alex Broadhurst, helping his club to a 3-1 lead. The center floated a shot through traffic, scoring his 12th goal of the season.
Rockford defender Brett Skinner and forward Terry Broadhurst each picked up an assist on the play. The Wild responded at 14:43 with a shorthanded goal by forward Stephane Veilleux. Iowa forward Tyler Graovac stole the puck behind the net, feeding a pass to Veilleux for his fourth goal of the season. Iowa tied the game 3-3 at 17:10 with a goal by forward Justin Mercier. The forward squeezed the puck past LaBarbera off his own rebound, scoring his second goal of the season. Haula and forward Jim McKenzie each assisted on the game-tying goal.
The IceHogs reclaimed the lead at 12:44 of the third period with a goal by Adam Clendening. The defender rifled a shot from the blueline, giving his club the 4-3 lead. Morin and forward Brandon Pirri each assisted on the play. IceHogs forward Brad Winchester scored an empty netter at 19:30 for the 5-3 final.