The IceHogs kept the Bulldogs from completing the comeback with a 6-4 win
Rockford, Ill. – In a game that wasn’t over until the final minutes, the Rockford IceHogs walked away with a 6-4 win against the Hamilton Bulldogs on Tuesday night. The contest marked the first time Rockford has taken down Hamilton in regulation in the team’s head-to-head history.
The power play would be the equalizer as Christian Thomas fired the puck past Jason LaBarbera for the 4-4 tie with 12:34 remaining in regulation. The previous goal scorer, Maxime Macenauer was given the primary assist while Sven Andrighetto notched his fourth point (1g-3a) of the game for Hamilton with the secondary assist.
With 4:31 left, Mark McNeill took a pass from Klas Dahlbeck and fired the puck to the far side of the net and into the corner to take one last IceHogs lead for the 5-4 game-winner. The tally gave McNeill three points (1g-2a) on the night.
The IceHogs sealed the 6-4 victory on Brandon Mashinter’s empty-netter, his second tally of the game, with 1:23 remaining in the contest.
After a few chances missed on the power play, the IceHogs netted the first goal of the game at 13:13 of the first period. Terry Broadhurst slid the puck through the five-hole of Dustin Tokarski after the power play expired to give Rockford a 1-0 lead.
Just two minutes into the second period, the IceHogs padded their lead on a rocket shot by Joakim Nordstrom that flew over Tokarski’s shoulder and into the corner of the net. The 2-0 marker was the Swedish centerman’s team leading 14th goal of the year.
Hamilton brought the score back within one with 9:24 left in the second period on the power play. Andrighetto got the puck near the right face-off circle and fired a shot over LaBarbera’s shoulder to set the score at 2-1. Former IceHog and Rockford’s all-time leader in power play points, Martin St. Pierre, was given the lone helper on the goal.
Brett Skinner and Mashinter teamed up to answer on the power play with just 2:19 left in the sandwich frame to give the IceHogs another two-goal lead at 3-1. Skinner fired a slap-shot from the blue line that Mashinter got a piece of in front of the net and steered past Tokarski.
Taking advantage of starting the third period with a 5-on-3 power play, Greg Pateryn fired a puck through traffic that snuck underneath LaBarbera to once again bring the Bulldogs within one at 3-2 just 21 seconds into the frame.
Once again finding a way to answer, the IceHogs quickly extended their lead back to two at 1:55 of the final period. McNeill carried the puck into the right face-off circle and neatly found Alex Broadhurst across the goal face for the marker on the open side of the net for a 4-2 lead.