Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean
IceHogs continue their early season struggles with another loss to Peoria, at home.
If you just look that the IceHogs scored 2 shorthanded goals and out shot the Peoria Rivermen 44-25, you would think they won going away, right? Well that's not the case. Instead they gave up 5 goals to a team that only scored 22 goals in its first twelve games and lost 5-4. Peoria only has 3 regulation wins this season and two of them are against the Hogs. 7 of their 27 goals have come against Carter Hutton, that's 26% of their goals this year. The IceHogs are marred in yet another early season slump, which should not be the case with the amount of good talent on the roster.
For once, it was the IceHogs who scored in the opening five minutes of the game with captain Martin St Pierre notching his 3rd goal of the year. The unassisted goal was the first of two shorthanded goals on the night for Rockford. Ryan Stanton was called for high sticking at the 11:44 mark and it took all of 8 seconds for the Rivermen to convert. Jaden Swartz scored his 3rd goal of the season to tie the game at one goal apiece. TJ Hensick gave Peoria their first lead of the game with his 4th goal at 16:13, a lead they would take into the first intermission.
Peter Leblanc scored his 2nd goal of the year, another unassisted shortie, at 7:58 of the 2nd period. The IceHogs have now scored 3 shorthanded goals, which should not be a surprise considering all the time the PK unit has been on the ice. Both of Leblanc's goals this year have come against Peoria. Maybe the Rivermen are to Leblanc what the Columbus Blue Jackets were to Viktor Stalberg. I really don't think we can get the #LeblancPorn hashtag off the ground though. Derek Nesbitt scored his team high 5th goal of the season at 13:53 of the middle frame to give Peoria a 3-2 lead.
The IceHogs tied the game 5:16 into the 3rd period when Brandon Saad scored his 2nd goal of the season. St Pierre and Marcus Kruger were credited with the assists. Saad now has 2 goals and an assist in his 3 games since coming back from an injury. This is very good to see. Second generation turd Phil McRae scored his first goal of the year at 9:58 to break the 3-3 tie. If you are giving up goals to Basil McRae part duex, you have some issues. Jeremy Morin was able to knot up the game again with his 5th goal of the season. Ben Smith and Brandon Pirri assisted on the Hogs final goal of the night. Anthony Peluso, no relation to Mike, notched the game winning goal with just 3:34 left in the 3rd period.
Rockford would be doing ok if they didn't have to play the teams within their own division. They are currently 1-6-0-1 against their Midwest Division rivals. A piss poor division record like that is not going to get you very far. Last night was the 6th straight game the Hogs have held their opponents to 25 or less shots on goal. The problem is they have given up 24 goals in that span. Carter Hutton has been struggling between the pipes for Rockford. He now has a record of 4-6-0-1, with a 3.02 GAA and a .893 save %. These numbers are a far cry from what we saw from Hutton during the second half of last season when he was spectacular in net.