Center tallies second straight-two goal night, Richards earns the win in goal
Charlotte, N.C.-Comebacks are becoming the norm for the Rockford IceHogs in the month of January. For the fourth time since Jan. 8, the IceHogs earned a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Charlotte Checkers at the Time Warner Cable Arena on Friday night.
Rockford is 4-0-0-1 when trailing after the second period since Jan. 8 and have now picked up points in six straight games (5-0-0-1).
Down 2-0, Peter LeBlanc began the comeback midway through the second period. On a power play, LeBlanc cranked his 14th goal of the year past John Muse at 11:00 of the frame from the right point to pull Rockford back within a goal.
LeBlanc struck again for Rockford midway through the third period. Brian Fahey’s shot was blocked down and LeBlanc picked up the rebound and tucked his 15th goal of the season under the cross bar and in at 9:10 for his second straight two-goal night.
Rockford snagged their first lead of the weekend on the Checkers with a Dylan Olsen marker at 11:47. Rostislav Olesz saucered a cross-ice feed to Olsen at the left point and the d-man blasted his third tally of the season past a screened Muse for a 3-2 advantage.
Rockford staved off a late Charlotte power play and held on for the win. Five of the six games between the IceHogs and Checkers this season finished in a one-goal outcome. Rockford is 2-2-0-2 against the Midwest Division leaders this season.
The IceHogs penalty kill coughed up the first goal on Friday. Bobby Sanguinetti blasted his fourth goal of the season off of the shoulder of Alec Richards and in at 13:15 for a 1-0 lead. The power-play goal came after Rockford failed to convert on a 1:40 five-on-three power play earlier in the period.
In the second period, Charlotte extended their lead to 2-0. Rasmus Rissanen ripped a shot from the left point and Riley Nash redirected the shot over Richards top shelf for his seventh goal of the season at 9:59.
Richards, making his first start since Jan. 11, made 23 saves to pick up the win. Rockford finished 1-4 on the power play while holding the Checkers to 1-3.
Next Home Game: Saturday, Jan. 28 vs. Milwaukee Admirals: The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. Rockford and Milwaukee meet up once again at the BMO Harris Bank Center for the IceHogs Annual Pink in the Rink Night. The ice will be pink and the IceHogs will be wearing special pink jerseys that will be auctioned off to benefit breast cancer research and awareness.
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”