Rockford, Ill. – Another slow start in the first period led to an early deficit that the Rockford IceHogs couldn’t overcome despite outshooting the Springfield Thunderbirds 43-26. Allowing three unanswered goals in the third frame, the Thunderbirds beat the IceHogs 7-2 on Friday night.
The Thunderbirds’ special teams stuck the Hogs in a 2-0 hole in the first period. Catching a backhanded pass from behind the net right in front of the crease, forward Mitchell Hoelscher found the back of the net at 4:09 on the power play. The IceHogs gave up their second shorthanded goal in two games as forward Drew Callin stole the puck at center ice and shuttled the puck to forward Hugh McGing to snap a shot over the shoulder of Arvid Soderblom at 8:49 to take a 2-0 lead.
The IceHogs shrunk the deficit to 2-1 late in the introductory period. Stealing the puck in his defensive zone, Rockford forward Luke Philp sprung forward David Gust at center ice for a breakaway opportunity. Gust lunged and fully extended to punch a shot at Springfield netminder Vadim Zherenko in front of the crease, and Philp cleaned up the rebound, blasting it over Zherenko’s shoulder at 13:13.
Igniting the action only 38 seconds into the middle frame, former IceHogs forward Matthew Highmore tapped in a loose rebound in front of the crease after Soderblom made a pad save to take a 3-1 lead. Gust answered back for Rockford with a one-time blast from the edge of the right circle at 7:53, bringing the contest back within one at 3-2; however, Springfield forward Mathias Laferriere chipped in a pass from Highmore from the right side of the crease at 13:52, scoring the Thunderbirds’ second power-play goal of the game and taking a 4-2 lead to end the second stanza.
After two, three-goal periods, Springfield piled on three more tallies in the final frame. Forward Keean Washkurak lit the lamp for the Thunderbirds on the power play at 8:09, and forward Jacob Hayhurst netted a pair of red lighters at 11:45 and 17:42 to seal Springfield’s 7-2 win in Rockford.
The IceHogs couldn’t capitalize on the man advantage, going 0-7 while Springfield went 3-6 on the power play.
The Rockford IceHogs are proud to host their 12th annual Autism Awareness Night, presented by LawnCare By Walter, Inc. on Saturday, Jan. 21 against the Chicago Wolves at 7 p.m. at the BMO Center. The event will be themed Superhero Night featuring custom Autism Awareness Night/Superhero jerseys and jersey auction, autographed mystery pucks, and premium raffle to support The Autism Program of Easterseals.
Tune In LIVE on the IceHogs Broadcast Network Presented by BMO
Watch and listen to every game this season on the IceHogs Broadcast Network presented by BMO! Listen from your favorite device, at home, or on the road at IceHogs.com and on the IceHogs app and watch LIVE on AHLTV and selected games on 23.3 Circle TV! Fans can also tune in on all of Mid-West Family’s local stations including 104.9 The X, B103, 95.3 The Bull, and Rockford Greatest Hits 100.5 and featured on Rock River Current, the Stateline’s premiere source for local events, news and culture.