Late Blunden goal pushes Rockford’s unbeaten streak to 10
San Antonio, Tex.- A three hour plane trip after back-to-back home games and down by a goal with less than minute left in regulation against a team coming off of a rare Saturday off day wasn’t enough to derail the Rockford IceHogs season best unbeaten streak.
A late third period goal from Mike Blunden forced overtime and extended the Hogs unbeaten streak to 10-straight games in San Antonio against the Rampage. The Hogs did, however, fall in overtime 4-3 at the AT&T Center.
A back-and-forth third period began with a San Antonio short-handed goal. Winger Bill Thomas broke a 1-1 tie when he wristed a shot over the shoulder of Corey Crawford at 11:38. Rockford tied it after a pretty feed from Bryan Bickell to Jordan Hendry at 12:35. Hendry fired his third goal of the season past David LeNeveu to tie the score at two.
Then moments after the Rampage failed to convert on their sixth power play of the game, Rampage defenseman Brendan Bell blasted his fifth goal of the season in past Crawford at18:39. With Crawford pulled, the IceHogs would scratch out the equalizer. Blunden picked up a Martin St. Pierre shot and shoved it into the San Antonio net to tie the game with just 48-seconds remaining in regulation.
In the shootout Bell and Joey Tenute solved Crawford while the IceHogs couldn’t get a shootout tally past LeNeveu.
The IceHogs took the 1-0 lead with a power-play goal from the AHL’s leading power-play lamp lighter. Winger Troy Brouwer redirected a Cam Barker blast over the shoulder of LeNeveu at 13:36. St. Pierre also helped out on the goal and the marker was Brouwer’s team-leading 13th of the season and 12th on the power play.
The Rampage responded at 17:03 with the help from a Rockford turnover. Tenute banked in his team-leading 14th goal of the campaign off of a Thomas rebound past Crawford.
Crawford finished the night with 35 saves while LeNeveu made 27.
Next Home Game: Saturday, Dec. 22 vs. Milwaukee Admirals. Game time is 7:05 p.m. The IceHogs meet up with the Milwaukee Admirals for the first time ever on Saturday when they drop the puck at the Rockford MetroCentre. The first 1,000 fans to the game will pick up an IceHogs Santa Hat courtesy of the Rockford Park District.