Rockford, Ill- A far too common trend for the Rockford IceHogs lately seems to leave the team feeling they deserve a better outcome. Another solid effort came up short Wednesday as the IceHogs fell to the Toronto Marlies 4-1 at the BMO Harris Bank Center after three late third period goals by the Marlies.
Photo by Greg Hamil
Tied 1-1 late in the third period, Toronto took the lead with just 2:25 left in regulation. Joe Colborne fed a pass to Marcel Mueller, who flipped the puck past Carter Hutton for his fifth goals of the season to give the Marlies a 2-1 advantage.
The IceHogs earned a power-play opportunity with less than two minutes left and pulled Hutton in favor of the extra attacker. Toronto, however, tallied two short-handed, empty-net goals from Mike Zigomanis and Ryan Hamilton to seal the game and take the 4-1 win.
For the first time this season, the IceHogs played in a scoreless game through the first 40 minutes, but Toronto got on the board early in the third. Jerry D’Amigo fired a slapshot from the left faceoff circle that went top-shelf past Hutton to give Toronto a 1-0 lead at the 1:52 mark. Jesse Blacker and Simon Gysbers tallied assists on the play.
Then halfway through the final frame, Rockford took advantage of a power play to tie the game at 1-1. Peter LeBlanc ripped a shot from the blue line that Ben Smith redirected past Ben Scrivens for his seventh goal of the season. Smith leads the IceHogs with five power-play goals this season.
Rockford went 1-for-5 on the man advantage, while Toronto did not convert on any of their five power play opportunities.
Hutton made 24 saves in the loss, and Scrivens turned away 29 IceHogs shots to earn the win. Rockford now faces a long road stretch as the team plays 10 of their next 11 away from the BMO Harris Bank Center and has just one home game over the next 25 days.
Next Home Game: Friday, Dec. 30 vs. Charlotte. Game time is 7:05 p.m. The Rockford IceHogs battle the Charlotte Checkers in the Forest City for the second time this season. It’s also kids jersey night, as the first 1,000 kids 14 and under will receive an IceHogs kids jersey, sponsored by Rockford Orthopedic.
For every goal that the Rockford IceHogs score in 2011-12, IceHogs head coach Ted Dent will make a donation to children’s cancer research. BMO Harris Bank will also make a donation for every goal to the “BMO Harris Bank Goals For Grades”