Photo courtesy of the Hamilton Bulldogs
Rockford picks up a point in 5-4 overtime loss
Hamilton, Ont.- The struggles against the Hamilton Bulldogs continued for the Rockford IceHogs, even when it seemed they had a game in the bag. Rockford coughed up a two goal lead late in the third period Tuesday and eventually fell 5-4 in overtime at Copps Coliseum.
Rockford has never beaten Hamilton in regulation and are now 2-8-1-0 all-time against the Bulldogs.
With Rockford up 2-1 entering the third period, the final frame featured several momentum turns. In a strange sequence of events in the third period, Rockford went from killing a 5-on-3 power play to gaining on one. In between, however, Hamilton tied the game at 2-2 with a 4-on-3 shorthanded goal. Sven Andrighetto blasted his second goal of the season over the shoulder of Kent Simpson.
But another chance on the power play put Rockford back on top. The Broadhurst brothers, Terry and Alex, set up Mark McNeill in front of Dustin Tokarski and the rookie buried his third goal of the season to put the Hogs up 3-2.
McNeill struck again for Rockford to stretch their lead to 4-2. In transition, the rookie rifled his four goal of the season under the glove of Tokarski and in at 16:05.
Hamilton came storming back and scored twice in the final 2:28 of the third period to force overtime, similar to what the IceHogs did to Grand Rapids on Saturday. Andrighetto began the comeback with his second goal of the night at 17:32, pouncing on a rebound.
Then with time winding down, Akim Aliu found a rebound on the doorstep and he knocked in his second tally with 18.4-seconds left in regulation. Overtime would last just 1:03 as Louis LeBlanc found yet another loose puck in front of the Rockford goal and scored the game winner with his first marker of the season.
For third time in seven games, the IceHogs tallied in the game's first 1:28. On Tuesday, Garrett Ross fired a McNeill pass over the shoulder of Tokarski from the slot for his first pro goal 31-seconds into the contest.
Moments after a Hamilton power play expired, the Bulldogs would tie the game at 1-1. LeBlanc fed Nick Tarnasky in the Rockford slot and he blasted his third marker of the season past Kent Simpson at 15:37.
In the second period Rockford reclaimed the lead at the 14:29 mark. Terry Broadhurst was set up by Jimmy Hayes and Pat Mullane and the winger deeked out Tokarski for his second goal of the season.
Simpson made 31 saves in the overtime loss and Tokarski turned away 24 Rockford shots to earn the win.
Next Home Game: Saturday, Oct. 26 vs. Charlotte Checkers at 3 p.m. The first 5,000 fans to the BMO will receive a 2013-14 IceHogs magnet schedule compliments of T6 Broadband. Fans are also invited to come dressed for Halloween as the IceHogs will be hosting a Trick-or-Treat version of "Skate with the Hogs" following the game.