IceHogs are 4-0-0-0 against Wolves at home in 2008-09
Winger Rob Klinkhammer scored his sixth goal in five games to give the IceHogs an early lead. (Photo by Greg Hamil)
Rockford, Ill.- The Rockford IceHogs edged out the Chicago Wolves 3-1 at the Rockford MetroCentre behind a another sterling performance from goalie Corey Crawford.
"It's always fun to win against the Wolves," said defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson. "It's a big rivalry and especially now with the standings so tight, it was a very big game for us."
The win on Friday extends Rockford's streak to 4-0-0-0-1 in the last five games. The Hogs have also won the last four meetings against Chicago to improve to 6-2-0-0 on the season against the Wolves.
"It's always good to win a couple of games in a row," Hjalmarsson said. "It gives you a lot of confidence. We just need to keep playing like this."
The Hogs made the first splash of the night when Rob Klinkhammer banked in a breakaway goal at 55 seconds into the first period. Klinkhammer notched his sixth goal and seventh point in the last five games with the marker.
The winger took a pass from Jake Dowell and drove it past Robert Gherson, giving him the record for most consecutive games with a goal as an AHL IceHogs skater with five. The mark also ties the franchise record set by UHL IceHogs forward Kevin Kerr in 2003 and matched six times.
In the second stanza, Jimmy Sharrow found the back of the net off of a Jack Skille feed at 1:09 in the period. The goal gave Sharrow his third of the 2008-09 campaign. Evan Brophey was also credited with the assist.
"Those were two big goals," Hjalmarsson said. "I think we played all three periods."
In the third period, Spencer Machacek cut the lead in half with a power-play goal at 5:23 with assists from Joe Motzko and Brett Sterling. Machacek slapped in a loose puck in front of Crawford, who turned away 34 shots. Gherson ended the night with 33 saves for Chicago.
The power play goal was the only of four power play opportunities of which the Wolves would take advantage. The IceHogs would finish 0-for-3 on the man advantage situations.
Skille added an empty-net goal with a helper from Danny Groulx at 19:50 in the third.
Next Home Game: Saturday, Jan. 10 vs. Toronto Marlies. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. Rockford welcomes the Marlies to the MetroCentre for the only time in 2008-09. The first 2,000 fans to the game on Saturday will receive an IceHogs baseball hat courtesy of Frito Lay, Pepsi, WXRX and WIFR. It's also a Skate with the Hogs, so bring your ice skates to get on the ice after the game.