Photo by Ross Dettman
Winger helps end Rockford’s five-game road losing streak
Chicago, Ill.- In the four previous meetings, the Rockford IceHogs and Chicago Wolves played one-sided hockey. The West Division rivals were due for a tight one-goal affair on Friday night they got it at the Allstate Arena.
Fueled by a pair of Rob Klinkhammer goals, the IceHogs slipped by the Wolves 3-2 for their first ever regulation regular season win at the Allstate Arena.
With game tied at two apiece in the final frame, Klinkhammer, with help from Jake Dowell and Mike Blunden would put Rockford up for good. Dowell jammed a puck in front and Klinkhammer picked it up and beat Chicago goalie Brent Krahn one-on-one for the game winner and his seventh goal of the season at 19:04.
Rockford struck first against Chicago on Friday with Klinkhammer’s first marker. Klinkhammer picked up a cross-ice feed from Danny Groulx and flipped his sixth goal of the season past Krahn at 3:44.
Corey Crawford was brilliant in the first period including on a five-on-three Wolves power play. During the two Chicago power plays, Crawford turned away eight Wolves shots and 16 overall in the period.
Chicago tied the game at 1-1 in the second period with a power-play marker from Joe Motzko. Motzko batted a deflected puck out of mid-air at 16:27 past Crawford for his eighth goal of the season against Rockford and leading 23rd overall. Jamie Rivers and Jeff Hamilton assisted on the goal.
Rockford got the lead back in the third frame with a power-play goal of their own. Evan Brophey picked up a Pascal Pelletier feed in transition and snuck his eighth goal of the season past Krahn. Groulx also helped on the goal.
The lead was short lived, however, as the Wolves tied the game right back up at 10:23 of the final frame. Brian Sipotz wristed his first goal of the season past Crawford to knot the game at 2-2. Spencer Machacek and Riley Holzapfel marked assists.
Rockford outshot the Wolves 35-34 in the contest and Crawford got the win, ending the IceHogs team-low five-game road losing streak. Krahn was sharp as well, but was saddled with the loss after making 32 saving.
Next Home Game: Saturday, Jan. 3 vs. Chicago Wolves. The puck drops on 2009 at 7:05 p.m. Rockford returns to the MetroCentre to complete another home-and-home set, this time against the Wolves. The first 2,000 fans to the game will receive a pair of IceHogs Fleece Gloves courtesy of Mega Truck Rental and 13-WREX TV.