Rockford, Ill.- After scoring just four goals in their last four games, the Rockford IceHogs matched that goal total in a 4-3 win over the Rochester Americans at the Rockford MetroCentre on Saturday night.
Petri Kontiola beat former IceHogs goaltender Mike Brodeur over the shoulder at 5:15 in the first period with an assist from Tim Brent to get the scoring started for Rockford.
But just 10 seconds later the IceHogs found themselves on a 5-on-3 penalty kill for 1:56, which they successfully defended.
After the kill Rob Klinkhammer and Dan Bertram both redirected a Doug Janik shot at 16:06 of the first to give the IceHogs a 2-0 lead. Bertram was credited with the goal. Janik joined the IceHogs from the Dallas Stars on a conditioning assignment on Saturday. The goal was Bertram’s fourth of the season.
In the second, Evan Brophey added some insurance at 1:38 on a power play, chasing Brodeur from the game. Tim Hambly and Danny Groulx were credited with the assists. Brodeur finished with eight saves in 21:38 in his first game back inside the Rockford MetroCentre since the 2007-08 season when he served as Rockford's No. 3 goaltender.
"We talked about (Brodeur) this morning in our morning meeting," Peters said. "Brodeur wanted to beat (Corey) Crawford head to head tonight, there's no question about that. These guys have a lot of pride. We know Mike Brodeur had this game circled on his calendar and rightfully so."
But with a healthy lead, the Hogs let the Amerks back into the game with three straight goals.
Stephan Meyer brought the lead back to two goals, beating Crawford in traffic at 11:59. Jacob Micflikier and Peter Aston were credited with the assists.
"All of a sudden it’s 3-1 and it's game on again," said Peters. "And we went a little high risk with five forwards on the power play, but we had to put the puck in the hands of our skill guys. There are some things that we did well and some things that we had to get better at."
The Americans brought the game within one goal when Jordan Henry found the back of the net off of a David Brine pass. And Michal Repik tied the score at three apiece with a shorthanded goal at 7:52 in the third. Repik took a feed from Keaton Ellerby to beat Crawford, who had 33 saves.
But then Adam Hobson solved Tyler Plante at 13:45 to but the Hogs up for good. Groulx and Jake Dowell set up the marker as Hobson shelved his second game-winning goal of the into the back of the net.
"Adam Hobson this weekend was very good and ended up playing on our second power play because he was very good last night," Peters said. "He earned an opportunity. We have to reward guys who are playing well and he took advantage of that."
The Americans pulled Plante, who finished with 17 saves, to give the offense an extra man but it wasn't enough. The Hogs defense was able to hold off the Amerks even through a late whistle against Kontiola, putting the IceHogs on their sixth penalty kill of the night with just over a minute left in the contest.
"I thought we showed some good heart coming down the stretch and finished the game off strong," Peters said. "We finished the third with 14 shots."
The Hogs finished 1-for-5 on the power play.
Next Home Game: Monday, Feb. 16 vs. San Antonio Rampage. The IceHogs and Rampage rumble at 2:05 p.m. It’s the IceHogs second matinee game of the season as the team presents another Kids’ Day. All kids 18-and-under can purchase a ticket for $5. The IceHogs also welcome the Zooperstars to the game and kids can register to win some great prizes like an iPod Shuffle and gaming systems.