Rockford, Ill.- Two third period goals by the Rockford IceHogs allowed the team to extend their winning streak to a season-high three-games, defeating the San Antonio Rampage 2-1 on Monday afternoon at the Rockford MetroCentre.
Former IceHogs and current Blackhawks Corey Crawford, Jack Skille and Jack Dowell drop the ceremonial first puck on Monday during Chicago Blackhawks Day at the Rockford MetroCentre. (Photo courtesy of Greg Hamil)
The IceHogs found themselves in a familiar spot. Just as they were on Saturday, the IceHogs were scoreless entering the third period. Despite being kept off the scoreboard, Rockford controlled the offensive action through the first two periods, outshooting the Rampage throughout 24-12.
It didn’t take Rockford long, however, to capitalize in the third period. While in their defensive zone Brian Connelly was able to knock down a puck and send it up to Kyle Beach. Beach passed it up to Evan Brophey and with his arms stretched out to catch the pass, he gathered it in and shot it over the blocker of Matt Climie at 13-seconds, for a 1-0 IceHogs advantage.
The IceHogs looked to extend their lead midway through the final period. Off of a Brandon Pirri offensive zone face off win, Garnett Exelby moved a backhanded pass to winger Hugh Jessiman from the point. Jessiman quickly fired a slapshot and with Pirri in front of Climie the puck snuck past him at 8:23, making it 2-0.
Just when the IceHogs gave themselves some extra breathing room, San Antonio would make the finish a little more interesting. Just under a minute and half later, a goal by Andrew Ebbett closed the Hogs lead to 2-1. Ebbett swiped in the goal at 9:50, which was assisted by Ryan Hollweg and Jamie Bates.
Rockford outshot San Antonio 37-25 and Toivonen picked up his third straight win.
NOTES: Toivonen stopped 24 of 25 shots and received the number one star of the game, while San Antonio’s Matt Climie stopped 35 of 37 shots in the loss. Both teams went scoreless on the power play. Hugh Jessiman’s goal was his 100th career professional goal, and his 192nd professional point. Today’s win marked the third straight victory for the IceHogs, the longest win streak of the season, while San Antonio extended their losing streak to 5 games.
Next Home Game: Friday, Jan. 21 vs. Oklahoma City Barons. Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m. Rockford hosts Oklahoma City for a second time this season and the first 2,500 fans will receive IceHogs Fleece Gloves courtesy of Ferrell Gas and ESPN 1380 AM WTJK.