Photo By John Saraya/Lake Erie Monsters
LeBlanc leads the outburst with two goals
Cleveland, Ohio-Good starts are always nice to have in hockey and the Rockford IceHogs got just that on Friday night. Three early first period goals led Rockford to a 5-2 win over the Lake Erie Monsters at the Quicken Loans Arena.
Rockford hemmed the Monsters in their end on the first shift of the game and capitalized. Alex Broadhurst found Adam Clendening at the right point in the Monsters zone and the d-man cranked home his second goal of the season at 1:28.
Later in the frame, center Brandon Pirri found Brad Mills wide open in front of Calvin Pickard and the Monsters goal and Mills buried his first tally of the season at 4:26. Moments later Drew LeBlanc pushed Rockford's lead to 3-0 with his first pro goal. LeBlanc cleaned up a Brad Winchester rebound at 7:48 of the first frame.
After giving up 100 shots on goal in their first two games, the IceHogs allowed just six in on Antti Raanta in the first period on Friday.
In the second frame a power-play goal from Viktor Svedberg made it 4-0 Rockford. Dylan Olsen pinched off a Mark McNeill pass at the right point and found Svedberg in the middle of the Monsters zone where he slapped his first goal of the season over Pickard at 15:14.
Olsen started another rush for Rockford, resulting in a goal that would chase Pickard from the game. The blueliner started a rush with Jeremy Morin who found LeBlanc in the deep slot and the rookie beat Pickard through a Brad Winchester screen for his second goal of the game at 17:43.
Lake Erie came to life early in the third period and notched two goals to make it a 5-2 contest. Paul Carey was the first to solve Raanta when he flipped home his first marker of the season at 2:02. Then at 4:32, Lee Moffie set up Bryan Lerg who deeked out Raanta for his third goal on the young season.
That was all that Lake Erie could muster and the IceHogs skated away with their second victory of the season. Rockford held the Monsters to just 22 shots while firing 32 in on the Lake Erie goalie combo.
Next Home Game: Saturday, Oct. 19 vs. Grand Rapids. Game time is 7 p.m. Rockford opens the home portion of their regular season schedule against the Griffins. The first 5,000 fans to the game will receive an IceHogs calendar courtesy of Stateline Staffing Services. For tickets, call (815) 968-5222, online through IceHogs.com or in person at the BMO Harris Bank Center Box Office or at any Ticketmaster outlet.