Hogs have outscored Abbotsford 11-4 in Rockford this season
Rockford, Ill.- The Rockford IceHogs have posted back-to-back wins for the first time since Oct. 16-17 thanks to five different goal scorers in a 5-1 victory Saturday over the Abbotsford Heat at the Rockford MetroCentre.
"Any time you can get some wins together here, it's nice," said defenseman Daryl Boyle. "Win one, lose one is not so nice. We're going to keep going here, hopefully we can build into three and four and go from there."
The Hogs are back at .500 for the first time since Oct. 30 thanks to four out of a possible six points in Week 9.
In Saturday's game, Mark Cullen sniped the corner of the net for his team-leading 10th goal of the season at 5:28 in the first period off of a great pass from Brian Connelly. Boyle also got an assist.
Then Evan Brophey banged home this third of the season at 10:04 with helpers from Richard Petiot and Boyle to make the score 2-0.
Left Wing Ryan Flinn continued the offensive assault, posting his first goal of the season at 2:50 in the second. Jake Dowell stole a pass and dished to Flinn in the Abbotsford zone and the gritty winger made it 3-0.
Less than a minute later Bracken Kearns ended Heat goalie Leland Irving's night at 3:40, pushing in the fourth goal of the contest with assists from Jack Skille and Kyle Greentree.
The same line came back again to post another goal when Skille finished a give-and-go breakaway with Kearns at 1:20 in the third period to make the score 5-0. Greentree also got an assist.
All of Rockford's goal came even strength, with every player on the team finishing +1 or higher and the squad combined for a season-high +25.
"Any time we can score nine goals in back-to-back games, that's good," said Boyle. "Our defense comes first. We've really buckled down there and are spending less time in our d-zone so we're scoring more goals."
In the middle of the third, Riley Armstrong ended Joe Fallon's shutout bid at 7:42 on a tic-tac-toe play from Garth Murray and Keith Seabrook on the power play. But that's all that the Heat could manage as the IceHogs took a 3-1-0-0 series victory from the Heat.
Irving took the loss with eight saves on 12 shots, while Keetly stopped 12 of the 13 shots he faced. Fallon picked up his third win on five starts (3-1-1) since Corey Crawford was sidlined with a lower-body injury.
"I had a couple of days rest, and I was able to rest my back and my mind," said Fallon. "I came back feeling 100 percent. Our team is playing really well right now and our defense was unbelievable."
Rockford's penalty kill was 5-for-6, while the power play squad was 0-for-4 in the game.
Next Home Game: Wednesday, Dec. 2 vs. Chicago Wolves: The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. Golden Goal is back! If the IceHogs score with 9:10 left on the clock in the third period, someone in the building will win $10,000. Beer will also be $2 at select concession stands throughout the arena. High school and college students can also pick up the best available seat after 6 p.m. for just $10 thanks to WXRX’s Student Rush program.