Rockford's five game swing ends with a 2-2-1-0 records
Photo by Ross Dettman
Rosemont, Ill.- The back-and-forth battle ended in the Chicago Wolves' favor after the Rockford IceHogs gave up a two-goal lead in the third period to fall 5-4 at the Allstate Arena.
"You always want to be over .500 and we had an opportunity to go over .500 by a couple of games, but it didn’t happen," said IceHogs forward Bracken Kearns. "We will definitely try to get back at these guys on Friday."
Matt Anderson lit the lamp for Chicago at 11:39 in the first frame at the end of a power play with assists from Steve McCarthy and Paul Postma to start the scoring. But then Danny Bois got Rockford on the board when he finished a 2-on-1 breakaway with Brian Connelly when the puck bounced to Bois and then into the goal at 12:10.
At 17:37, Mark Cullen gave Rockford the lead just five seconds into a power play when he beat Manny Legace glove side on a one-timer from Connelly. Daryl Boyle also got a helper.
In the second period, Tim Stapleton plucked the puck out of midair and put it past Corey Crawford to even the score at 2-2 at 11:32 with helpers from Jason Krog and Josh Gratton.
Then Akim Aliu put the IceHogs back on top on a breakaway when Evan Brophey deflected a Chicago pass in the Rockford zone. Aliu drove down the ice and put it under Legace's glove at 14:00.
In the third, Rob Klinkhammer stripped Joey Crabb behind the Chicago net, worked around the goal and poked it in at 1:51 for a 4-2 Rockford lead.
But then the Wolves took advantage of a string of Rockford penalties. The Hogs fended off a 1:32 5-on-3, but Spencer Machacek solved Crawford in a scrum in front of the net at 5:03 with assists from Stapleton and Potsma.
“That 5-on-3, we were able to kill it off and they kind of scored on our tired penalty killers but that’s no excuse," Kearns said. "You have to make big plays in the third, but we just didn’t have it tonight.”
With the Wolves back on the power play, Potsma found the back of the net on a drive from the blue line at 7:06 to even the score again. Jamie Hunt and Angelo Esposito were credited with the helpers.
Then Anderson gave Chicago their first lead since 7:50 into the first frame when he beat Crawford over his right shoulder at 17:04 in the third. Andrew Kozek and Rylan Kaip get assists on the marker.
“We just kept giving them power plays and opportunities and they’re just going to capitalize," said Kearns. "We have to learn from that. It’s better to have these at the beginning of the year than at the end of the year."
Crawford took the loss with 33 saves, while Legace stopped 31 pucks. Chicago's power play continues to confound the IceHogs, finishing 3-for-6 on the advantage. Rockford was 1-for-3 on the power play.
Next Home Game: Friday, Oct. 16 vs. Chicago Wolves. Game time is 7:05 p.m. After five-straight road tilts to open the 2009-10 regular season the IceHogs return home to face the Wolves. The first 5,000 fans to the game will pick up an IceHogs wall calendar from Maverick Media and 23 WIFR.