Photo by Greg Hamil
Wolves skated by sluggish IceHogs 6-1
Rosemont, Ill.- Prior to the Rockford IceHogs game on Saturday night against the Chicago Wolves, things had been rolling along quite nicely. In a battle for the top spot in the West Division, the game was decided early as the Wolves blew Rockford out of the Allstate Arena 6-1, ending the IceHogs five game unbeaten streak.
First periods had been the best this season for the IceHogs, but not on Saturday night. Chicago jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead including a pair of quick strike goals.
The binge started at 5:56 when Spencer Machacek slipped his third goal of the season past Antti Niemi for the 1-0 lead. Matt Anderson was marked with the assist.
Later in the frame, while on a power play, Joe Motzko ripped his team-leading 12th goal of the season over the shoulder of Niemi at 14:01. Off the ensuing face-off, Chicago winger Colin Stuart picked up a lose puck after Pete MacArthur fell down and beat Niemi just six seconds later for his sixth goal of the campaign.
The second period started almost the same way the first ended for Rockford. Motzko potted his second goal of the season on the power play at 3:07, set up by Jeff Hamilton and Alex Brooks.
Chicago came right back to make it 5-0 at 4:17 when Brett Sterling beat Niemi far post and chased him from the game at 4:17 for his seventh goal of the season. Motzko helped out with the assist.
Rookie goalie Joe Fallon relieved Niemi in goal for Rockford and his only blemish came at 3:49 when Jordan LaVallee beat him for his fifth goal of the season, assisted by Brian Sipotz and Jamie Rivers.
Rockford ruined Chicago goalie Robert Gherson’s shutout bid at 16:14 of the third period. Defenseman Danny Groulx snuck his first goal of the season past Gherson helped by Evan Brophey.
The IceHogs ended up out-shooting Chicago 28-27 and Niemi was tagged with the loss after making 12 saves on 17 shots faced.
Next Home Game: Thursday, Dec. 11 vs. Iowa Chops: Game time is slated for 7:05 p.m. The Rockford IceHogs return from a brief weekend road swing to face the Iowa Chops for the third time in 2008-09 and the first of three meetings in December. One lucky fan will win a pair of tickets to the Winter Classic game at Wrigley Field. Also, Harlem Globetrotters tickets will be given away throughout the night along with three pairs of Blackhawks tickets to Chicago’s game on Sunday, Dec. 14 against Columbus. MembersAlliance Credit Union will be celebrating their 70th Anniversary as well.