Rockford, Ill- Coming off a Friday night loss, the Rockford IceHogs weren't able to bounce back falling 4-1 to the San Antonio Rampage on Saturday at the Rockford MetroCentre on Pink in the Rink Night.
Rockford started out firing against the Rampage missing on point blank opportunities that could have given them a much needed early lead.
But in one short break San Antonio jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. A defensive miscue inside the Hogs offensive zone left the puck out to Ned Lukacevic. Lukacevic moved the puck up to Jamie Bates on a breakaway and he backhanded the puck over Alec Richards' blocker at 12:48. Nolan Yonkman also picked up an assist on the play.
Shortly into the second period after both teams received offsetting minor penalties the teams would skate four on four, but a failed clearing attempt inside Rockford's defensive zone would prove to be costly. Andrew Ebbett intercepted an IceHogs clearing attempt and quickly passed the puck over to Mathieu Beaudoin. Beaudoin elevated the puck over Richards' glove giving San Antonio a 2-0 lead. Jonas Ahnelov was credited with the second assist.
With a San Antonio penalty carrying into the third period Rockford cut the Rampage lead in half. Richards sent the puck up to Shawn Lalonde and he located Jeff Taffe moving in around the left circle. Taffe faked a shot and moved in close to slip the puck under the pads of Al Montoya at :54, making it 2-1 Rampage.
San Antonio, however, wouldn't let the Hogs stay close for long. A minute after Rockford killed off another penalty, San Antonio pulled away with Lukacevic's second goal of the night at 5:30 in the third. David Brine started the puck up to Bates. Bates fed Lukacevic inside the Rampage offensive zone and he put the puck past Richards to give the Rampage a 3-1 lead.
Right after Rockford called a timeout to pull Richards for an extra attacker, Bracken Kearns moved down on a breakaway and picked up the empty-net goal at 18:17 to seal the game at 4-1.
Notes: Rockford's crowd of 6,267 was the largest of the season and the IceHogs second sellout of 2010-11. Alec Richards made 21 saves on 24 shots in a losing effort, while Al Montoya stopped 32-of-33 shots in the win. Rockford held off the AHL's best power-play, killing off all five shorthanded situations. Kyle Beach's six-game point streak came to an end, scoring seven points (3g-4a). Following a regulation loss the IceHogs were 12-2-0-2 entering tonight's contest.
Next Home Game: Saturday, Jan. 29, vs. Milwaukee Admirals. Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m. The first 2,500 fans to the game will receive an IceHogs Winter Hat compliments of Rasmussen College, ESPN 1380 AM and FOX 39.