DES MOINES, Iowa — Unable to mount a comeback after trailing at the end of the first frame, the Rockford IceHogs fell 4-1 to the Iowa Wild for the first time in regulation this season. Defenseman Alec Regula tallied the lone Rockford goal, marking his fifth point in four games.
Similar to Saturday night, the Wild jumped out to an early lead in the first period. Iowa forward Sammy Walker stole the puck at the right circle and shuttled a pass to forward Adam Beckman in the slot, setting up a quick wrister that slipped past Rockford goaltender Jaxson Stauber at :33 to take a 1-0 lead.
The IceHogs answered back and tied the contest 1-1 at 7:53. Tallying his fifth goal of the season, Regula caught a centering pass from forward Luke Philp in the slot and blasted a wrister behind the blocker of Wild netminder Jesper Wallstedt.
Iowa forward Steven Fogarty snuck past the Hogs’ defense and sunk a wrist shot over the shoulder of Stauber at 19:15 to take a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
On the back of a scoreless second stanza in two games, forward Nick Swaney extended Iowa’s lead to 3-1 in the final frame. Stauber made two impressive back-to-back saves, but Swaney punched the loose puck from the right circle past the Hogs’ goalie at 10:33.
With an empty net and down 3-1 at 14:57 in the third period, Rockford went on their sixth power-play opportunity of the night; however, Beckman stole the puck in Iowa’s zone and fired a long shot down the ice to light the lamp with a shorthanded empty-netter at 16:23.
Stauber was stout in the net, turning away 25 of 28 Wild shots, including several impressive stops in the second period with Iowa pressuring, but Wallstedt marked 33 saves to earn the win.
Despite 10 power-play opportunities on Sunday afternoon, neither Rockford or Iowa capitalized on the man advantage. The Hogs went 0-6 while the Wild went 0-4 on the power play.
The IceHogs match up with the Colorado Eagles for the first time in the 2022-23 season on Friday, Jan. 13 at Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colorado.