ROCKFORD, Ill -- Victor Ejdsell evened the game in the third period for the Rockford IceHogs with his third goal in two games, but Paul Bittner potted what proved to be the game-winner with less than five minutes remaining in regulation to send the Cleveland Monsters to a 2-1 victory over the Rockford IceHogs Saturday night at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
The loss was Rockford’s first home defeat of the season and snapped the team’s five-game point streak
The first period was a defensive struggle until Zac Dalpe connected for a power-play goal to give Cleveland a 1-0 lead with just 52 seconds remaining in the frame. Dalpe banged in a rebound after Rockford goaltender Anton Forsberg saved the initial shot from Cleveland’s Mark Letestu.
The defensive stalemate continued through the second period before Ejdsell provided the tying goal for the IceHogs on the power play at the 6:58 mark of the third stanza. The forward collected a pass on the left circle from defenseman Carl Dahlstrom and fired the puck past the far side of Cleveland goalie Matiss Kivlenieks.
The game was nearly headed for overtime, but Bittner provided the game-winning goal for the Monsters with 4:33 remaining. The initial shot from Gabriel Carlsson rang off the post, but Bittner was able to corral the rebound and stash it home.
Forsberg made his IceHogs debut after being assigned to the team earlier in the week. Facing his former team, the 25-year-old netminder stopped 25 of 27 shots in the loss.
The IceHogs will look to get back in the win column with a matchup against the Manitoba Moose Sunday afternoon at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
NEXT HOME GAME: Sunday, Oct. 28 vs. Manitoba Moose | 4 p.m.
The Rockford IceHogs host the Manitoba Moose for the first time of the 2018-19 season. The IceHogs are celebrating Halloween on Sunday with a costume contest for all fans, and postgame trick-or-treat with the team for kids ages 14 and under.