Milwaukee, Wis.- For whatever reason, the Rockford IceHogs have struggled with home-and-home sets this season. On Friday, that trend continued as the IceHogs fell 4-1 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in the first of two straight against their rivals. The two teams match-up again on Saturday in Rockford.
This is the sixth home-and-home sequence for the IceHogs this season, including the third against Milwaukee, and Rockford is now 2-7-2-0 and are looking for their first regulation win.
All started well for Rockford, however. Moments after his penalty expired, center Cody Bass hopped out of the penalty box and picked up a Klas Dahlbeck stretch pass at center ice. Bass was able to fend off a Milwaukee defender and flip his first goal of the campaign past Marek Mazanec at 17:52 for the lone first period goal.
In the second period, the Admirals garnered a goal in similar fashion. Mark Van Guilder found Kevin Fiala camped out at the Rockford blueline and the rookie beat Michael Leighton on the backhand on a breakaway at 4:16.
Later in the frame, again after a Bass minor penalty, another goal was tallied, this time by the Admirals. Joe Piskula knocked down a loose puck in the Rockford zone and fed Zach Budish who notched his fifth tally of the season at 8:53, giving the Ads a 2-1 advantage.
Milwaukee began the third frame with their fifth power play and they would tally their lone goal on the man advantage. Fiala picked up an Ian White rebound and swiped home his second marker of the game, this one 1:25 into the third period.
For the second straight outing, the Hogs were forced to pull their goaltender with considerable amount of time left on the clock to try to get back into the game, and again the opposition was able to ice it. On Friday, Viktor Stalberg buried the empty netter at 18:02 to make it 4-1.
Next Home Game: Saturday Feb. 7 vs. Milwaukee Admirals. Puck drops at 7 p.m. The IceHogs pay homage to their all-time leading goal scorer when they return to the BMO for Jeremy Morin Bobblehead Night against the Admirals. The first 2,500 fans will receive a bobblehead of the former IceHog, courtesy of Dental Dimensions.