Photo by Todd Reicher
Rockford, Ill. – With over 4,000 Rockford area school children in attendance, the Rockford IceHogs dropped 4-3 overtime matinee against the Abbotsford Heat on Wednesday at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
With a two-goal cushion heading into the final frame, Abbotsford came storming back in the third to tie it up and eventually take a 4-3 win in overtime.
After being down two goals for much of the game, the Heat trimmed the IceHogs lead to one just 17 seconds into the third period and shifted momentum. In his American Hockey League debut, centerman Evan Trupp notched his first career goal as he got the puck past Jason LaBarbera with help from Josh Jooris and Corban Knight to put the score at 3-2.
Abbotsford continued their push as defenseman Chad Billins raced in to the Hogs zone and flipped a backhanded shot past LaBarbera to tie the game at 3-3 with 6:04 left on the clock.
Abbotsford continued the pressure and stole the game 3:40 into the overtime session. After Klas Dahlbeck was nabbed for a holding penalty, Heat centerman Markus Granlund ended the game with 15 seconds left on the power play with the sudden death marker to give the IceHogs a 4-3 OT loss.
For the sixth straight game the IceHogs opened the scoring to take an early 1-0 lead. Defenseman Theo Peckham dropped a pass off for Brad Winchester and he rifled a shot from the blue line that snuck its way to the back of the net at 6:36 in the first.
Then, with Abbotsford’s Sven Baertschi in the box for tripping, the Hogs took advantage with the extra attacker and converted on their first power play of the game. Garret Ross picked up a pass from Brett Skinner and netted his 11th marker of the season to extend the lead to 2-0 at 17:35 in the first.
In the second period, Abbotsford cut into the Hogs’ lead with a power play strike of their own at 7:21. With traffic in front of the IceHogs net, Mark Cundari fired a puck by LaBarbera to make it a 2-1 game.
Rockford regained the two goal advantage less than four minutes later off the stick of Brandon Mashinter on a power play. Ross fed Mashinter and he chipped in his fourth goal of the season at 11:09 to push the score to 3-1. Mark McNeill also picked up an assist on the play.
The Hogs finished the game two-for-four on the power play while the Heat converted on two of their three chances with the man advantage.
Next Home Game: Mon., Jan. 20 vs Toronto Marlies at 1 p.m. Rockford hosts another day game, this time against Toronto. While enjoying the day off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the IceHogs are giving away drawstring bags to the first 1,500 kids (14 and under) at the game courtesy of Pepsi.