Colin Fraser scored Rockford's second goal. (Photo by Ross Dettman)
Game 5 of West Division Finals at the Allstate Arena
Rosemont, Ill.- The monkey is off the back.
The IceHogs won at the Allstate Arena for the first time after eight attempts by a score of 5-1 on Friday. Now the Hogs move back to the MetroCentre for Game 6 and a chance to eliminate the Chicago Wolves in the West Division Finals.
After a scoreless first period, rookie winger Jack Skille grabbed a loose puck on a rebound at 2:08 in the second frame and pounded it past Ondrej Pavelec for the game's first score. Then later in the period, Colin Fraser picked off the puck at 5:45 from Grant Lewis behind the Wolves' net and bounced it off Pavelec's skate and in. Both goals were unassisted.
The IceHogs are now 6-0 when scoring first in the 2008 Calder Cup playoffs.
And then with the Wolves on the advantage, Troy Brouwer took a pass from Martin St. Pierre and put it in the back of the net at 9:11 to make the score 3-0. The IceHogs had four power-play goals in the postseason at that point, and now have three shorties.
At 18:27 in the second, Jason Krog took a feed from Nathan Oystrick and put it past Corey Crawford for the Wolves' only score. It was Krog's first goal in 10 games in the postseason. He leads the Wolves with 13 points and 12 helpers. Darren Haydar also had an assist on the goal.
In the third frame, Adam Berti scored his first goal of the postseason at 5:35 to give the Hogs their three-goal lead back. Berti took the puck off a pass from Niklas Hjalmarsson and put it over Pavelec's left shoulder on the backhand. The defenseman took the puck off a face-off win from Gavin Morgan.
Brouwer scored his second marker of the game and fourth in two games to put the cap on the game at 12:44. His blast came off of assists from St. Pierre and Hjalmarsson on the power play.
The goal chased Pavelec from the game after making 20 saves. Robert Gherson finished with 2 saves in relief. Crawford had 40 saves in the win.
On the scoreboard, the Wolves outshot the Hogs 11-4 in the first frame, but that's not really the whole story. The IceHogs came out gunning and threatened twice in the first power play. Early in the advantage, Petri Kontiola fed Derek Nesbitt, who barely missed the open net wide. Later Hjalmarsson took a slapshot that Mike Blunden almost deflected into the goal.
On a 4-on-4 later in the frame, Crawford made a dramatic save on a Joe Motzko shot that would keep the score at zero. Motzko picked up a rebound and looked to the open net. From his knees, Crawford bounded across the crease and made a body save lying on his back to keep the Wolves at bay.
Crawford and the IceHogs defense held the Wolves at bay in six power-play attempts. It was the first goose egg in that column for the Wolves in 15 games against the Hogs. Rockford finished 1-6 on the power play.
Next Home Game: Sunday, May 11 vs. Chicago Wolves. Game 6 of the West Division Finals. The Mother’s Day matinee starts at 4:05 p.m. The series moves back to the MetroCentre for one final time and Rockford can punch their ticket to the Western Conference Finals while the Wolves will look to force a Game 7 back at the Allstate Arena on Tuesday. Every mom that comes out to the game will receive a voucher good for a free small frozen custard at any of the five Rockford Culver's locations.