Photo by Greg Hamil
Rockford, Ill.- The Rockford IceHogs picked away at an early deficit to edge out the Peoria Rivermen, 5-4 in a shootout at the Rockford MetroCentre to open the preseason on Tuesday night.
With less than one minute remaining in the third period, IceHogs winger Zach Torquato tied the score at 4-4 with his second marker on the night. Torquato’s goal at 19:02 was set up by Dallas Jackson and Dustin Cameron.
The IceHogs held down the defense late in the overtime period, killing off a bench minor and forcing the deciding shootout.
In the shootout the IceHogs outscored the Rivermen 3-2 to claim the win. Torquato, Brandon Pirri and Brandon Bollig notched shootout goals on Peoria net minder Gerald Colman. Peoria received goals from Tyler Shattock and Jerad Stewart.
While the IceHogs battled late to get the victory, Peoria controlled the scoring early.
Peoria got on the board first as Mark Isherwood found the back of the net at 6:01 on the power play in the first period. Shattock and Phil McRae were credited with the assists.
Later in the opening frame, IceHogs goalie Joe Palmer came out to play the puck but couldn't clear it out of the Rockford zone. Matt McIlvane picked up the loose puck and slapped it in to put the Rivermen up 2-0 at 6:26.
The IceHogs responded with a power-play goal of their own to cut the lead to 2-1 at 7:17. Cameron found Torquato camped out in front of the net and he chipped in his first marker. Pirri was also credited with an assist.
Peoria winger Pierce Norton picked up his second point of the night, his first goal, as he extended the Rivermen lead to 3-1. Ryan Palmer found Norton streaking towards the net and he put it off the cross bar and past Palmer at 11:01.
With Peoria on the advantage in the second period, Chris DiDomenico stick handled past a Rivermen defender and netted his first goal of the game to bring the IceHogs within a goal at 3-2 at 7:34. Jonathan Carlsson factored in with an assist.
Pirri cleaned up a rebound off of a shot from winger DiDomenico, 50 seconds into the third period to tie the game at 3.
Peoria, however, fired back with a power-play goal from Stewart, assisted by Ethan Cox and Mark Cundari at 3:20 of the third period.
Danny Battachio earned the win in goal for Rockford, making 13 saves in nearly 33 minutes of work. Palmer started for Rockford and stopped 15 of 18 Rivermen shots. Coleman went the distance for Peoria and blocked 26 IceHogs shots.
Rockford finished the night 1-5 on the power play, while the Rivermen went 2-11.
Next Home Game: Saturday, Oct. 9, 2009 vs. Manitoba Moose. The puck is set to drop at 4:35 p.m. The IceHogs begin the 2010-11 season against the Manitoba Moose and the first 5,000 fans will receive a 2010-11 IceHogs Magnet Schedule courtesy of U.S. Cellular, Dental Dimensions, Guerilla Graffix and the Illinois Pork Producers. Before the game on Saturday there is a fan festival from 1-4 p.m. where fans can enjoy music, food and entertainment.