Motte's Late Strike Lifts IceHogs to 2-1 Win in Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa - Tyler Motte struck for his second professional tally, and first game-winner, late in the third as the Rockford IceHogs (38-22-10-4) skated out of Des Moines with a 2-1 win over the Iowa Wild (24-40-5-5).
With the teams tied at 1-1 and time winding down in the third, the IceHogs capitalized on a late power play chance. Tanner Kero sent a pass to P.C. Labrie up the left wing, and Labrie snapped a hard, low shot at the net. Motte redirected the shot into the top right corner of the net to push the IceHogs to a 2-1 lead that they would not relinquish.
Rockford started the scoring at 5:02 of the opening frame. Ryan Haggerty skated the puck down the left wing and tossed a backhand pass into the slot. Mark McNeill was crashing the cage and found a way to power the puck towards the line, and Matt Fraser tipped it home to give the IceHogs a 1-0 lead.
A power play just past the halfway point of the period helped the Wild equalize the contest. Grayson Downing tried a wrist shot from the slot, only to see it blocked by Rockford's penalty kill unit. Downing stayed with the play and recovered the hopping disc below the right circle. He quickly moved a pass to Nick Saracino in front of the net, and he smacked the puck into the cage for his first professional goal, tying the game at 1-1 with 6:18 to play in the period.
Despite nearly eight minutes of power play time in the second stanza, the IceHogs were not able to snap the 1-1 tie. Labrie had the best chance of the frame, stealing a puck in his own zone and racing in on a breakaway with just over six minutes left in the frame. Leland Irving found a way to get his shoulder in front of the shot, and the two clubs remained deadlocked going into the third.
Mac Carruth stopped 20 of the 21 shots he faced to take the victory for Rockford which stood as his fourth win of the season.
Next Home Game: Friday, April 15, 2016 vs. Grand Rapids Griffins at 7 p.m. The first 1,000 fans will receive an IceHogs beach towel courtesy of Peak Fitness. Fans 21-and-older can get their weekend started early on another Blues Flame Friday as drink specials and appetizers will be available at the Blue Flame Lounge starting at 5:15 p.m.
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