Franson, Delia lead IceHogs To Win Over Iowa
ROCKFORD, Ill.-The Rockford IceHogs broke a two-game losing skid against the Iowa Wild Saturday night.
Led by a two-goal evening by veteran Cody Franson and outstanding performance in net by Collin Delia, Rockford bested the Wild 3-2 at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
The Wild outshot Rockford 13-3 in the first period. However, it was the Hogs who held a 2-1 lead into the intermission.
Iowa took a 1-0 lead on a goal by captain Gabriel Dumont. Dumont was in front of the Hogs crease, where he collected a feed from Mason Shaw. The pass came from behind Delia’s net; Dumont was able to knock the puck into the cage before the Rockford goalie could locate it. Dumont’s sixth goal of the season came at the 4:26 mark.
Rockford responded with the game’s next two scores. Franson threw in his first goal of the season at 9:33 of the opening frame. The point shot was set up by Andrei Altybarmakian, who sent a loose puck around the end boards to Nicolas Beaudin. Beaudin sent a pass along the blue line to Franson for the primary assist.
Shortly after tying the game, the IceHogs utilized some crisp passing to take the lead at 12:46 of the first. Franson got the lay of the land from behind his own net before firing to Beaudin at the Rockford blue line. Beaudin got to center ice and found Matej Chalupa coming into the Wild zone. The rookie forward skated to the left dot before slapping the biscuit past the blocker of Iowa goalie Hunter Jones.
The Rockford man-advantage unit propelled the Hogs to a 3-1 lead at 11:34 of the second period. Franson’s second of the game came from the left dot, set up by Brandon Pirri and Beaudin.
After a potential goal by Will Bitten was waved off with five minutes left in the middle frame, Iowa cut the lead to 3-2 with 3:59 remaining. Veteran Cody McLeod was in front of the net to collect the rebound of Josh Atkinson‘s shot from the point to reduce the IceHogs lead to one goal through forty minutes.
Iowa pushed hard for the equalizer to no avail. The IceHogs come up with two penalty kills in the last five minutes of action, highlighted by some incredible play by Delia. The Rockford goalie somehow managed to make a stick save on a sure Connor Dewar goal from the seat of his pants with 2:58 remaining.
Delia, on a conditioning assignment from the Blackhawks, made 35 stops on the night. His terrific performance comes after giving up 13 goals in his first two starts with Rockford.
The IceHogs and Wild are back in action Sunday afternoon. Puck drop is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.
Three Stars: Franson (First), Beaudin (Second), Delia (Third).