Rockford, Ill. – After dropping their first two games of the regular season, the Rockford IceHogs now find themselves on a two-game winning streak. The IceHogs topped the Milwaukee Admirals 3-2 in a shootout in front of 5,465 fans at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
Rockford’s Home Opener was filled with intensity and emotion with Central Division rival Milwaukee in town and a pregame on ice ceremony to commemorate Rockford’s affiliation extension with the Blackhawks.
Mark McNeill scored the first goal of the contest and beat Admirals goaltender Mark Visentin for the game winner in the third round of the shootout to help lead Rockford to the win. Spencer Abbott started the shootout with a goal and goaltender Lars Johansson turned away both attempts by Matt White and Anthony Richard in the extra session.
For the second straight evening, Johansson posted the victory with 32 saves.
McNeill broke the scoreless game in the second period with his first goal of the season at 6:25 right after Ville Pokka had exited the penalty box for interference. Defenseman Carl Dahlstrom added to the IceHogs lead with a snipe from the left point at 14:20 to put the IceHogs up 2-0, his first career AHL goal.
In a little over a minute span, the Admirals erased Rockford’s two goal lead. Just 21 seconds after Dahlstrom struck, Felix Girard was able to power the puck past Johansson to cut the deficit to 2-1. Milwaukee tied the game at 2-2 with White’s goal at 15:32.
Rockford started overtime down a man after Martin Lundberg was called for slashing at the end of the third period. IceHogs killed Lundberg’s penalty but soon found themselves down a man again after Abbott was whistled for hooking. Rockford staved off Milwaukee’s power play to force the shootout, and eventually earning the win.
Next Home Game: Sunday, Oct. 23 vs. Cleveland Monsters. Puck drops at 4 p.m. The IceHogs and Monsters meet for a third time this season and the first 1,500 fans will receive a clear tote bag courtesy of Dr. Sexson Orthodonics. Also, stick around after the game and trick-or-treat with the IceHogs on the ice.