Rockford, Ill. – The Manitoba Moose held on to a third period lead despite a 21-shot barrage from the Rockford IceHogs in the final stanza and handed the home team a 3-2 loss at the BMO Harris Bank Center Friday night.
The Moose opened the scoring at 8:55 after Chris DeSousa was unable to bury a shorthanded opportunity for the IceHogs. John Albert fed an outlet pass to Scott Kosmachuk, who roofed his shot over the glove hand of Mac Carruth.
Manitoba doubled their lead early in the middle frame. Nic Petan took advantage of a Rockford turnover and outwaited a sliding Rob Scuderi before tucking a feed across to Thomas Raffl, who buried his third of the season.
The IceHogs weathered a storm midway through the second, killing off an extended five-on-three power play after Kirill Gotovets, Mark McNeill, and Scuderi were sent off in quick succession.
Rockford sought to draw within a goal late in the stanza after a hooking penalty to Petan, but Eric Comrie turned aside a flurry of shots to maintain the two-goal gap.
Carruth preserved the IceHogs chances just over a minute into the final frame. Kosmachuk got in alone on the Rockford goaltender, but Carruth stoned him to keep his team in the game.
The home squad upped the ante as the period wore on as Nolan Valleau nearly buried a wraparound chance past Comrie six minutes in. Jake Dowell tipped a shot on goal a minute and a half later, but the bouncing puck caught the arm of Comrie before skittering just wide of the far post.
DeSousa finally got the IceHogs on the board with 7:58 to go in the contest, ripping a wrister short side over the shoulder of Comrie following an end-to-end rush.
Manitoba picked up a key insurance tally with 2:39 to go after the IceHogs pulled Carruth in favor of an extra attacker. JC Lipon notched his 11th goal of the season by flipping the puck the length of the ice into the empty net.
Rockford rallied in the final minute on the power play, as Dowell banked a centering pass off the skate of McNeill to the waiting stick of Cameron Schilling. Schilling slammed home his fourth goal of the season into the open net with 22 seconds to play, but the IceHogs couldn’t muster another late tally before the final horn sounded.
Manitoba went one-for-six on the man advantage, while Rockford got a single power-play goal in seven opportunities.
Comrie turned aside 37 shots in the victory, including 21 third period Rockford shots, while Carruth stopped 22 Manitoba shots.
Next Home Game: Tickets for Saturday, March 5 vs. Lake Erie Monsters at 7 p.m are SOLD OUT. Tickets still remain for the game on Mar. 6 versus the Monsters at 4 p.m. After the game, the team will host a “Skate with the Hogs” event where fans will be welcome to skate on the ice with their favorite IceHogs players.