ROCKFORD, Ill -- Graham Knott netted the game-winner off his skate and the IceHogs capped off a perfect home-opening weekend with a 5-2 defeat of the Hershey Bears Sunday afternoon at the BMO Harris Bank Center. The Hogs bounced back from a 0-for-2 start on the road to improve their record to 2-2-0-0.\
Goaltender Collin Delia turned in another strong performance in his second start in as many days, stopping 34 of 36 shots and earning his second win of the season.
The IceHogs struck first, as they have in each game this year, when Anthony Louis tallied his first goal of the campaign at the 3:30 mark of the first period.
Hershey’s Tyler Lewington tied the game just over five minutes later on a shot from the point assisted by Maximillian Kammerer and Beck Malenstyn, but Jordan Schroeder gave Rockford its lead back early in the second stanza with his first goal as an IceHog. Schroeder converted on a power-play one-timer off a cross-crease pass from Dylan Sikura.
Liam O’Brien tied the game for the Bears just minutes later, but it was all IceHogs from that point forward.
Knott provided the eventual game-winner at the 8:17 mark of the second frame. The goal was reviewed as the puck had deflected off Knott’s foot, but stood as called.
Terry Broadhurst then extended the Rockford lead in the third period, tacking on his own first goal as a Hog, and Matthew Highmore put the nail in the coffin on an empty-net goal with 1:40 remaining in the game.
The IceHogs will go for their third consecutive victory when they head to the desert for a matchup with the Tucson Roadrunners Friday night at Tucson Convention Center.
NEXT HOME GAME: Wednesday, Oct. 24 vs. San Antonio Rampage | 7 p.m.
The Rockford IceHogs will host their division rival, the San Antonio Rampage for the first time this season Wednesday, Oct. 24 at the BMO Harris Bank Center. Rockford knotched points in four of six games against the Rampage last season, posting a 3-2-0-1 record in the series.