ONTARIO, Calif. – A late comeback by the Rockford IceHogs came up just short as the Ontario Reign were able to collect a 5-4 victory on Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Business Arena.
Brett Sutter scored the game-deciding goal when he slammed home a rebound chance at 11:44 of the final frame. Rockford made a late comeback push, and Brandon Mashinter tallied his 12th goal of the campaign with 1:23 to play in the game to bring the IceHogs back within a goal. It was as close as the IceHogs would get, however, as Jack Campbell knocked aside a few late chances to preserve the win.
The opening two minutes of the game saw a pair of pucks find the back of the net. First, Brett Sutter snatched up a rebound to bury his 12th goal of the season 51 seconds into the contest, but the IceHogs answered back with a power-play strike at 1:44. Ville Pokka snapped the puck towards the cage and Spencer Abbott finished off the play with a quick redirect in front of Jack Campbell. Kyle Baun rang a shot off the post just a few minutes later, keeping the score at 1-1 after the opening frame.
A wild second period saw the two teams combine for five goals. Ontario jumped out to an early 3-1 advantage when Sean Backman and Sam Herr scored in the first six minutes. Abbott then netted his second goal of the game on a long wrist shot from above the right circle, and Dahlstrom evened the game at 3-3 on a one-timer from the high slot less than three minutes later. Johnny Brodzinski put home the fifth and final goal of the frame on a rebound late in the second to give the Reign a 4-3 advantage going into the third.
Next Home Game: Tuesday, Feb. 28 vs. Manitoba Moose at 7 p.m. The IceHogs host the Moose in the fifth season matchup between the two teams. Tuesday is a Fas Fuel Winning Weekday and a WXRX Dollar Day featuring $2 beers, sodas, hot dogs and companion tickets, and if the IceHogs win every fan in attendance can redeem their ticket for a FREE ticket to the next weekday home game. Additionally, one lucky fan will win a $50 Fas Fuel gas card.