Rockford, Ill. – Firing on all cylinders the Rockford IceHogs (42-21-5-2) continued a recent offensive surge en route to a 5-3 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals (33-25-7-6) to claim their seventh straight win at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
After the IceHogs put up 13 goals over the weekend, the Hogs offense continued to click on Tuesday, finding the back of the net in each period. Forward Spencer Abbott was a catalyst, recording his fifth multi-point outing in a Rockford sweater with two goals and two assists. Fellow linemates Peter Regin (3a) and Brandon Mashinter (1g-1a) also chipped in with multi-point efforts, their seventh each.
For the 10th time in the last their 12 home games an IceHogs shot found the back of the cage to score the first tally of the contest.
Racing down the puck in the corner of the Admirals zone, Abbott slide a pass to Stephen Johns at the top of the right circle. Johns fired the one-timer to a screened Marek Mazanec and the puck found its way behind the goalie to give the IceHogs a 1-0 lead with 4:34 remaining in the opening period.
Carrying the 1-0 into the dressing room, Abbott and company came out early in the second frame and continued right where they left off. Keith Seabrook sprung Abbott on a 2-on-0 breakaway with Brandon Mashinter. Abbott faked a pass to Mashinter before slipping a backhand shot between the pads of Mazanec just 1:58 in to the frame.
Less than two minutes later Milwaukee trimmed the Rockford lead to make it a 2-1 game thanks to a rebound tally from Austin Watson. Watson scooped in a rebound after Pontus Aberg fired the initial shot the caromed off Antti Raanta with 17:27 still showing on the second period clock.
Milwaukee all but killed off a five minute penalty after being whistled for a major boarding infraction, but the Hogs struck with 15 seconds left on the power play to bump the lead back up to two goals.
Abbott again set up an IceHogs tally as he hit Regin in stride just inside the blueline. Regin then slide the disc onto the stick of Mashinter in front of the crease and he backhanded it into the net for his team-leading sixth power play goal of the season and 16th overall.
Again the Admirals cut the two-goal lead in half and made it 3-2 contest just 59 into the final 20 minutes. Pontus Aberg, skating with the puck behind the goal line, hit Gary Steffes in front of the Hogs’ net and he banged home his fourth goal of the campaign.
The IceHogs responded with the game’s next score to regain control of the contest. With the puck in the far corner, Vince Hinostroza sent a pass onto Keith Seabrook’s stick as he was sneaking through the backside of the Admirals defenders. Seabrook picked up the pass and beat Mazanec over the shoulder for his first goal in a Rockford uniform with 10:20 left in the final period.
The IceHogs continued their scoring onslaught with another tally less than two minutes later. Mashinter kept the puck in the offensive zone before connecting with Regin along the boards. Regin then fed Abbott with a no-look pass behind his back and the centerman buried his second of the contest with 8:43 remaining to chase Mazanec from the game.
After a late penalty to Matt Carey gave Milwaukee their third power play of the night, the Ads were able to cash in with the man advantage but the game was already in hand. The win for Rockford improved their record to 10-1-1-0 over their last dozen games on home ice.
The IceHogs (91 points) gained two points on the Grand Rapids Griffins who sit atop the Midwest Division with 92 points with six games remaining for each squad.
Next Home Game: Wednesday, April 15 vs. Charlotte Checkers. The IceHogs begin a three-game homestand to close out their regular season schedule when they host Charlotte at the BMO. It is the final WXRX Dollar Day of the season, so fans have one last chance to enjoy hot dogs, sodas, beers and companion tickets all for just $1 each.