Photo by Greg Hamil
Niemi backstops Rockford to 4-1 win over Manitoba
Winnipeg, Man.- For the second straight night Antti Niemi stymied the Manitoba Moose. On Friday Niemi turned away 28 shots and received some early offense en route to a 4-1 Rockford victory at the MTS Centre in Manitoba and a two-game sweep over the Moose.
Rockford struck twice early to grab a 2-0 lead in the first period on Friday. Just 20 seconds into the game Petri Kontiola's shot from the slot deflected off of Tim Brent's stick and past Cory Schneider for his 10th goal of the season. Jimmy Sharrow helped and the goal was the quickest marker scored by an IceHogs player in the Hogs AHL era.
The lead was extended to 2-0 at 2:57 when Adam Pineault snapped off his seventh marker of the campaign beating Schneider over the glove. The goal was assisted by Mike Radja.
The second period started off similar to the first for Rockford as defenseman Danny Groulx tacked on a marker against his former team. The blue liner picked up a Radja pass and blasted his fourth goal of the season past Schneider, chasing him from the game at 2:39 of the middle frame. Pete MacArthur figured in on the scoring as well.
Manitoba cracked Niemi in the second to cut the IceHogs lead back down to two. While on a power play Pierre Cedric Labrie chipped in his fourth lamp lighter of the season at 7:45 in traffic making it 3-1.
That was all that Niemi would allow as he picked up his second straight road win following a personal five-game road losing streak. Rockford sealed the game with an empty netter from Brent, his second goal of the game, at 19:49 of the final frame.
Schneider was tagged with the loss after blocking just five of eight Rockford shots. The IceHogs held the Moose to 1-4 on the power play while going scoreless on three opportunities of their own.
Brent First Period Goal
Pineault First Period Goal
Groulx Second Period Goal
Labrie Second Period Goal
Next Home Game: Friday, Feb. 13 vs. Peoria Rivermen. Rockford returns home at 7:30 p.m. The IceHogs come home after a 19 day hiatus to take on the Rivermen. The first 1,500 kids to the game 14-and-under will receive an IceHogs Youth Jersey courtesy of Feldco Windows and Doors, FOX 39 and 104.9 FM, WXRX.