IceHogs new head coach Ted Dent earns his first career win as bench boss
Rockford, Ill. – Rockford IceHogs fans couldn’t have asked for a better start to the new season as the IceHogs take a 3-2 win over the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday, giving new head coach Ted Dent his first win.
The IceHogs got on the board first when Kyle Beach hit a slapshot from the blue line past Griffins goalie Joey MacDonald on a power play at 8:10 of the first period. Peter LeBlanc and Jimmy Hayes were credited with the assists, earning their first points of the 2011-12 season.
However, the Griffins responded and tied it up on a power play of their own with just 15 seconds left in the first. Willie Coetzee found a loose puck in front of Alec Richards and fired it to the back of the net. Wingers Chris Connor and Gustav Nyquist each earned an assist on the play and the first period ended in a 1-1 tie.
Half-way through the second, Griffins defenseman Travis Ehrhardt went to the penalty box for four minutes on cross-checking and interference penalties, and the IceHogs were able to convert on the power play. Chris DiDomenico fired a shot on MacDonald, who thought he had it covered up. DiDomenico saw the puck still loose on the ice and tapped it in to put the IceHogs up 2-1.
The power play was a big factor for each team as the Griffins came back late in the third period to tie the game at two. Byron Froese went to the box for slashing at 13:14, and just fifteen seconds later, Jamie Johnson found the puck at the top of the crease and put it past Richards.
With less than three minutes left in regulation, Rob Klinkhammer fed a textbook pass to Brandon Segal from MacDonald’s left side, and Segal fired it into the open net to give the IceHogs the win.
Richards picked up the win stopping 28 shots while MacDonald was handed the loss, blocking 27 chances.
In all, the IceHogs converted on two out of three man advantages and Grand Rapids went two for five on their power play.
Next Home Game: Saturday, Oct. 22 vs. Chicago Wolves. The IceHogs welcome the Chicago Wolves to the BMO Harris Bank Center for the first of 12 meetings. The game will start at 7:05 p.m.