Hogs take front end of home-and-home series
Milwaukee, Wis.- Beginning a crucial stretch of games against the Milwaukee Admirals, the Rockford IceHogs took the front end of a home-and-home set with their West Division rivals 4-2 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.
With the win Rockford stays atop the West Division and Friday’s game marked the beginning of a stretch of four of seven contests for the IceHogs against the Admirals.
Evan Brophey gave Rockford a 1-0 first period lead with his tenth goal of the season at 8:34. Brophey, camped out in front of Chet Pickard, redirected a Daryl Boyle point shot in past the Admirals goalie.
Milwaukee tied the game late in the first frame when Tristan Grant tipped in a shot through traffic. Jonathan Blum sent a slap shot in front of the Rockford goal and Grant got a stick on it and the puck snuck past Corey Crawford at 17:39 for his ninth goal of the season.
In the second period Rockford’s power play put them back on top. Bracken Kearns dug a puck out from behind the Admirals goal and found Kyle Greentree in front, who then slipped in his team leading 21st goal of the season at 5:35.
Jake Dowell later made the score 3-1 when he cleaned up a Klinkhammer rebound in the Milwaukee zone. On a two-on-one breakaway, Pickard turned away Klinkhammer’s initial chance, but Dowell was there to flip in his sixth goal of the year at 13:46.
Hugh Jessiman reduced Rockford’s lead to one in the third period. After an IceHogs turnover in their own end, Jessiman worked a shot around Crawford at 3:40 for his 14 goal of the season, making the score 3-2.
With Pickard pulled, Rockford would put the game out of reach when defenseman Richard Petiot out skated the Admirals defense and wrapped in this fourth goal of the season into the Admirals empty net at 19:44.
Crawford earned the win making 27 saves while Pickard made 28 in the loss. Rockford held Milwaukee to 0-5 on the power play while converting one of three advantages of their own.
Next Home Game: Saturday, Feb. 13 vs. Milwaukee Admirals: The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. The first 2,500 fans to the MetroCentre will pick up a Mr. Potato Head courtesy of Frito Lay and Q98.5. For tickets call (815) 968-5222, on-line at www.metrocentre.com or in person at the MetroCentre Box Office or Hog Headquarters inside CherryVale Mall.