Photo by Sievers Photography
Hogs pick up point in first of four on the road
Peoria, Ill.- Antti Niemi and Manny Legace battled back-and-forth all night on Wednesday so it was only fitting that the Rockford IceHogs-Peoria Rivermen match-up went to a sudden death shootout.
It was Legace and the Rivermen, however, outlasting Rockford topping them 2-1 in the first game on the IceHogs four game road swing at Carver Arena.
Neither team could light a lamp until late in the third period. Peoria was first to strike while short handed. Steve Wagner picked up an errant IceHogs pass in the offensive zone and beat Niemi at 15:05 of the final frame for his fifth goal of the season.
Jack Skille would get the equalizer for Rockford to force extra hockey. The winger picked up an Adam Pineault pass and snapped off his 16th goal of the season past Legace at 18:10.
After a scoreless overtime, Rockford tallied the first shootout goal when Mike Radja beat Legace. Peoria countered with a Carl Corazzini goal in round three. In round five both Pineault and Steve Regier tallied and Corazinni gave Peoria the extra with the game winner in the sixth round.
The IceHogs and Rivermen went scoreless in the first period and Rockford’s penalty kill was put to the test three times. The Hogs staved off all three Peoria power plays and Niemi helped keep the Rivermen off the board with a solid glove save off of the stick of Jonathan Filewich on a two-on-one breakaway.
Rockford peppered Legace with 17 second period shots but the results were the same as the two clubs skated through a scoreless second frame. Included in those 17 Rockford shots was a Petri Kontiola penalty shot which he came up unsuccessful.
In five penalty shots in its AHL era, Rockford has converted on just one of them. The penalty shot was the second this season for the IceHogs as Tim Brent failed to convert the other attempt on Feb. 4 at Rochester.
Rockford outshot the Rivermen 34-22 in the contest and held them to 0-5 on the power play. The IceHogs also finished scoreless on the advantage going 0-4.
Next Game: Friday, Feb. 27 at Houston Aeros. The puck drops at 7:35 p.m. Rockford heads south to Texas for the first time this season when they battle the Aeros at the Toyota Center. The game is the first of three in Houston on the season and third of six between the West Division foes.