Goalie makes 34 saves for Rockford
Utica, NY- The only puck to beat Rockford's Kent Simpson on Saturday night came in the first minute of play. From there, the IceHogs backstop shut down the Utica Comets as the Hogs held on for a 2-1 win.
Rockford's league worst penalty kill lived up to the billing in the opening moments of the first period on Saturday. Just 28 seconds into the game Pascal Pelletier fired home a Cal O'Reilly pass past Kent Simpson for his eighth goal of the season, just nine seconds into the Comets first power play.
The IceHogs got the goal back though moments later when rookie winger Pat Mullane banked his fourth marker of the season off of Comets goalie Joacim Eriksson and in at 2:05 set up by Zach Miskovic and Jeremy Morin.
In the second period, after killing off their second 5-on-3 power play of the game, Rockford grabbed a 2-1 lead. Joakim Nordstrom set up Brandon Mashinter at 10:33 and the winger fired his sixth goal of the season top shelf over Eriksson's right shoulder.
The score would hold heading into the third period and Utica kept the pressure in the Rockford zone for the majority of the frame, but Simpson was up to the task as he made 14 saves in the stanza to preserve the win.
Next Home Game: Tuesday, Feb. 4 vs. Hamilton Bulldogs. Puck drop is 7 p.m. for another WXRX Dollar Day at the BMO. Fans can take advantage of one dollar beers, hot dogs, soft drinks and companion tickets.