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Late Surge Stymied in 5-3 Loss to Wild

December 31, 2017 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Rockford IceHogs News Release

ROCKFORD, Ill. - The Rockford IceHogs scored two goals in 25 seconds to pull within one goal midway through the third period, but the late comeback fell just short in a 5-3 loss to the Iowa Wild Friday night at the BMO Harris Bank Center.

Trailing 4-1 in the final period, Tanner Kero and Tyler Sikura potted back-to-back goals at 9:19 and 9:44 to cut the deficit to 4-3. Kero collected a rebound and lifted the puck over goaltender Steve Michalek for his first goal of the season and Sikura followed suit with a redirect from Ville Pokka.

The IceHogs then pulled goaltender Collin Delia on a power play to bring two extra attackers in the waning minutes of the contest. However, Kyle Rau fired home a shorthanded, empty-net goal to ice Iowa's 5-3 victory.

Matheson Iacopelli also lit the lamp in the opening period for Rockford before Iowa potted four unanswered goals to storm out to its 4-1 lead. The goal was Iacopelli's fourth of the season and marked his fourth point in the last six games.

Luke Kunin and Landon Ferraro also scored for the Wild, and Christoph Bertschy, Ryan Murphy and Cal O'Reilly each finished with two assists apiece.

Delia made 25 saves in the defeat. His counterpart, Michalek, stopped 45 pucks for his second win in three starts.

Next Home Game: The Rockford IceHogs return to the BMO Harris Bank Center to take on the Cleveland Monsters on Saturday, Jan. 6. The first 1,000 kids ages 14 and under will receive a free youth IceHogs jersey, courtesy of Ortho Illinois.

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