Rockford, Ill- A power-play goal capped off a late Rockford IceHogs comeback to end a six game winless streak (0-5-1-0) knocking off the Abbotsford Heat 3-2, on Saturday night in front of 5,389 at the Rockford MetroCentre.
After finding themselves down 2-0 after the first period and faced with the prospect of adding to their current cold stretch, the IceHogs needed a jump to climb back in the game.
After an offensive zone faceoff win, Hugh Jessiman circled around the net and found Brandon Pirri on the left side of the net. Pirri reached back and wristed a shot towards the opposite corner for Kyle Hagel to redirect into the net at 1:51, cutting the Heat lead in half 2-1.
Continuing off the chances from the previous period the IceHogs put themselves in a spot to tie the game at 2-2. Ryan Potulny found himself positioned in front and wound up to wrist a shot high on Jean-Philippe Lamoureux, the shot hit off his shoulder and back down. Potulny gathered the puck and curved it off the end of his stick around Lamoureux at 1:34. Picking up assists on the play were Jeff Taffe and Andy Bohmbach.
Late in the third period the IceHogs converted on a 5-on-3 power-play to grab the 3-2 lead. Connelly worked the puck over to Taffe standing just above the right circle. Taffe had two shots blocked and his second found Kyle Beach on the left face-off circle and the rookie shelved his tenth goal of the season at 17:54.
Alec Richards and the IceHogs fought off a late Abbotsford charge, and held on for the win.
Abbotsford started the scoring early in the first period. A clearing attempt that went the length of the ice while the final seconds ticked off the Abbotsford minor penalty was dug out by Ales Kotalik and Keith Seabrook. The puck found its way to the front of the net and looked to be covered but it was pushed through to the back of the net by Quintin Laing at 4:25 to give the Heat a 1-0 lead.
To make matters worse the IceHogs would took an interference minor just minutes after the goal. The Heat held control inside the Rockford zone and Kotalik slapshot was fired into Matt Keith, but the rebound rolled back in front and Greg Nemisz who hammered a shot over a stretched out Richards at 6:51 for a 2-0 Heat advantage.
Notes: Alec Richards stopped 27 shots on 29 shots, the victory gives him a total of 10 tying him for the team lead with Hannu Toivonen. Tonight's victory ended the IceHogs longest winless streak of the season at six games. Andy Bohmbach made his AHL debut and registered an assist after getting recalled from loan from Toledo earlier in the day.
Next Home Game: Wednesday, Feb. 9 vs. Houston Aeros: Game starts at 6:35 p.m. Wednesdays are Dollar Days. Fans can enjoy dollar Bud Select Drafts, Vienna Beef Hot Dogs, Pepsi Products and companion tickets.