Peoria, Ill.- The season might only be three games old, but the special teams are becoming an issue for the Rockford IceHogs, particularly the penalty kill. Rockford gave up four power-play tallies to the Peoria Rivermen on Tuesday in a 6-2 loss at Carver Arena.
Rockford has now given up eight power-play goals on 12 short-handed situations while scoring just one power-play tally on 12 chances of their own.
A pair of power-play goals started the scoring on Tuesday. Peoria struck first when defenseman Nathan Oystrick blasted his second goal of the season past Hannu Toivonen, beating him over the glove off of a Graham Mink pass at 2:08.
Rockford found themselves on a 5-on-3 midway through the first period and capitalized when Jeremy Morin tallied his career professional goal. Ivan Vishnevskiy found Morin on the left face-off circle, and the rookie beat Ben Bishop at 9:58.
The first period featured six shots on goal, including four by Rockford, and all six combined shots came on the power play.
Peoria regained the lead in the second period when Phil McRae picked up a loose puck in traffic and flipped it past a screened Toivonen at 3:53. The lead was extended to 3-1 at 9:51 after David Spina caught the IceHogs sleeping in their own zone and potted his first goal of the season.
The penalty kill continued to give Rockford problems as Nicholas Drazenovic made it 4-1 on the advantage. In transition, Drazenovic picked up a Mink pass and beat Toivonen shortside for his first goal of the campaign.
The IceHogs responded with a transition goal of their own. Rookie defenseman Shawn Lalonde picked up a Brandon Pirri feed, split the Rivermen defensemen and beat Bishop high glove side at 17:30 to reduce their deficit to 4-2.
Rockford couldn’t carry the momentum over to the third period, however, as the penalty kill let the game get too far out of reach with a pair of Chris Porter goals.
Porter’s first marker came at 5:52 on Alec Richards, who replaced Toivonen after the second intermission, at 5:52. Porter then completed the scoring at 7:10 of the third slipping home his third goal of the season through the pads of Richards.
Rockford was outshot 24-22 in the game and Toivonen took the loss after making 10 saves.
Next Home Game: Friday, Oct. 22 vs. Abbotsford Heat. Game time is 7:05 p.m. The first 1,000 fans into the building will pick up an IceHogs Poster #1 in a series of six, compliments of Comcast, Q98.5 and Medicine Man.