The IceHogs beat the first-place Iowa Chops for the third time in 2008-09. (Photo by Kris Gray)
Rockford is now 3-0-0-0 against the Iowa Chops in 2008-09
Rockford, Ill.- The Iowa Chops came into Rockford hotter than any team in the Western Conference, but couldn't solve the Rockford IceHogs at the Rockford MetroCentre on Thursday. The Hogs beat the Chops 2-1 for the third straight win against their newest West Division foe.
The Hogs ended the Chops 5-0-0-1 road streak and 6-0-1-1 unbeaten streak.
"They're a very good team, they don't give you a whole lot," Rockford coach Bill Peters said of Iowa. "They have given up next to nothing in their winning steak, so if you're going to beat them, you're going to have to play well and earn everything you get."
Early in the first frame, Rockford winger Jack Skille sniped a bullet past the shoulder of Iowa netminder Jean-Philippe Levasseur. The goal came at 2:08 in the first and gave the Hogs a 1-0 lead over the Chops. The assists were credited to Petri Kontiola and Niklas Hjalmarsson.
Skille finished with eight shots on net in the game.
The IceHogs added another marker in the second frame to jump ahead 2-0 over the Chops. Tim Brent chipped in a rebound off of Levasseur at 14:51. Pascal Pelletier and the Hogs' newest blueliner Jimmy Sharrow were credited with the assists.
Just down from Chicago, Corey Crawford got the nod in net.
"You're always going to be a little rusty," he said. "I haven't played in two weeks. It was fun to be in Chicago but it's also nice to be back on the ice."
He finished with 25 saves, but couldn't finish with the shutout as Iowa's Andrew Ebbett solved Crawford with 26 seconds left in the game with an empty net on the other side of the ice.
"I gave them one there," he said. "I felt good, but the whole team played really well tonight."
The IceHogs finished 0-for-4 and haven't scored a power play goal in four straight games.
"It's not very good right now," Peters said. "We're going to have to make some personnel moves. Obviously it's gone stale."
On the other side of special teams, the Hogs held off the Chops in five attempts.
Next Home Game: Saturday, Dec. 13, 2008 at Chicago Wolves at 7:05 p.m. The first 2,000 will receive an IceHogs winter scarf courtesy of McDonald’s. Saturday is also the IceHogs Annual Teddy Bear Toss. Bring a new stuffed animal to the game and after the IceHogs score their first goal, fans can toss the stuffed animals onto the ice. The stuffed animals will be distributed to underprivileged children in the Rockford area.