Hogs down 3-0 as late as six minutes left in second period
Rockford, Ill.- It wasn't a place that the Rockford IceHogs were used to being on the young season, but they played catch up on Friday against the Peoria Rivermen and did it well. The Hogs were down by three in the second period but came back to win 4-3 after a nine-round shootout at the Rockford MetroCentre.
In 29 games in 2008-09, the IceHogs trailed after two frames and they didn't win one of them. But thanks to two goals in the third, the Hogs posted two points in their first game of 2009-10 when trailing in the second intermission.
The Hogs are now 2-0-0-0 after two games at home in the young campaign, beating two of their closest rivals -- Peoria and Chicago -- in the Opening Weekend homestand.
"These games are huge," said Center Jake Dowell, who has five assists in the last two games and skated off the ice on Saturday with the No. 2 star honors. "I think we need to get as many points as we can at home. It's to our advantage obviously. Last year we saw how close it was at the end and every point counts."
Matt Keith was the recipient of two Dowell helpers for a multi-goal game in his second contest with Rockford. The veteran skater is playing for Rockford on a professional try-out.
To start the scoring, Yan Stastny beat Corey Crawford at 15:11 in the first period with an assist from Nicholas Drazenovic to put the Rivermen up 1-0.
Justin Fletcher doubled the advantage at 8:29 in the second when he drove to the net, worked around an outstretched Crawford and put the puck home. Chris Porter and Cam Paddock were credited with the assists.
And Brendan Bell potted his first goal of the season from the point at 13:12 in the second to add some insurance on the power play with helpers from Lars Eller and Stastny.
But then Bryan Bickell put the Hogs back within reach with a breakaway goal off a nice feed from Dowell at 15:35 to make the score 3-1.
And Dowell won a face off in the Peoria zone early in the third, which Keith picked up and put it in for his first goal as an IceHogs skater just 18 seconds into the final stanza.
Keith again found the back of the net off of a centering feed from Dowell behind the cage at 16:15 in the third to even the score. Daryl Boyle also factored in on the lamp-lighter to extend his point streak to four games. He also leads the team with a +7 in as many games.
Then after a dramatic overtime, Danny Bois, Evan Brophey, Rob Klinkhammer and Derek Nesbitt beat Hannu Toivonen, while Eller, Adam Cracknell and Jonas Junland were the only Rivermen to score over Crawford.
The Rockford netminder stopped 25 shots for his third win of the season, while Toivonen had 26 saves in the loss. The Hogs were 0-for-1 in the man advantage and Peoria finished 1-for-4.
Next Home Game: Friday, Oct. 23, 2009 vs. Milwaukee Admirals. The puck is set to drop at 7:05 p.m. The first 4,000 fans into the building will get a Make ‘Em See Red long sleeve t-shirt courtesy of Guerilla Graffix and ESPN 1380 for Red Out Night. Before the game the IceHogs will host their inaugural Hogtoberfest featuring the rock bank Night Ranger. Your ticket to the game will get you into the show. Concert grounds open at 5 p.m.