Photo by Darren Abate
Hogs blow by San Antonio 9-4
San Antonio, Tex.-The Rockford IceHogs offense is clicking on all cylinders right now. For the second straight Friday, the IceHogs offense put up record numbers as this time around they blew out the San Antonio Rampage 9-4 at the AT&T Center.
The nine goals is a single-game record for Rockford and the win kept the club in stride with the Milwaukee Admirals for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Rockford concludes the regular season tomorrow night while the Admirals still have two games remaining.
Rockford tallied on their first shot on goal Friday. Jeremy Morin hit Jimmy Hayes with a backdoor pass and the winger flipped in his 24th goal of the season at 3:12.
San Antonio responded 36-seconds later to tie the game at 1-1. Jack Combs cleaned up a rebound from a John Rheault shot for his 15th tally of the season at 3:46. The Rampage kept the pressure up and grabbed a 2-1 lead when Jared Gomes buried a Combs centering pass at 9:42.
But like San Antonio, Rockford bounced right back on the bump-up shift. Brad Mills beat Dov Grumet-Morris in transition at 9:59 for his seventh goal on the campaign, set up by Rostislav Olesz and Brandon Pirri.
A power play gave Rockford an opportunity to take the lead and they seized it. Ben Smith picked up a Morin rebound and tucked his 24th marker behind Grumet-Morris at 14:29. Hayes had a chance to make it a two goal game with a penalty shot attempt, but was denied by Grumet-Morris at 18:03.
Smith struck again in the second period to extend the Hogs lead to 4-2. Klas Dahlbeck's initial shot was blocked down, but Smith followed with his second goal of the game, this one at 4:58 of the middle frame.
Combs was cherry picking at the Rockford blueline later in the frame and was hit with a Zach Miskovic pass for a breakaway goal at 10:42 to reduce the Hogs lead to a goal. Just 36-seconds later, Rockford restored their two-goal lead. Brandon Svendsen potted his fifth goal of the season in transition off of a Maxime Sauve pass at 11:16.
The offensive affair continued as San Antonio solved Karlsson again at 12:32. Miskovic's slapshot from the right point was tipped over Karlsson's shoulder and in off of an IceHogs stick to make it 5-4 at the second intermission.
In the third period, two early goals broke the game open for the IceHogs. Hayes fired home his second goal of the night at 4:46 before Morin made it 7-4 in favor of Rockford at 6:33.
Trying to get back into the game later in the third, San Antonio pulled Grumet-Morris, but Pirri dumped his 22nd goal into an empty Rampage cage at 14:48. Sauve put the finishing touches on the record setting night when he flipped home his 11th tally on the year, and first with Rockford, at 15:06.
Playoff Tickets On Sale: IceHogs Fans can take advantage of buy-one get-one free playoff tickets. The deal is good through Thursday and if the IceHogs qualify for the Calder Cup Playoffs, they would host Game 1 (Friday, April 26) and Game 2 (Saturday, April 27) of the quarterfinal round at the BMO Harris Bank Center. For tickets, visit IceHogs.com, call (815) 494-8968 or at the BMO Harris Bank Center Box Office and any Ticketmaster outlet