The IceHogs should be most thankful they are not playing any divisional games this holiday weekend. The Hogs won the first of two back to back games against the Lake Erie Monsters, in Cleveland last night. The quick turnaround has the two teams set to drop the puck again tonight at 6:30 in the "Mistake By The Lake."
The game started off with Brandon Bollig being, well, Brandon Bollig. Bollig dropped the gloves with Patrick Bordeleau just 3 seconds after the opening faceoff. Of course we all remember the shit show that occurred the last time these two teams met so the early scrap was not a shock. The IceHogs jumped out to the early lead when Nick Leddy scored his 1st goal of the year, on the power play, just 1:07 into the contest. Adam Clendening picked up the assist on the goal. The Hogs took the 1-0 lead into the first intermission where they also held a 13-7 advantage in shots on goal.
Kyle Beach extended the Hogs lead to 2-0 when he put his own rebound past Monsters' goalie Sami Aittokallio at 8:08 of the middle frame. The goal was Beach's 6th of the year and was assisted by Brandon Pirri and Joe Lavin. Lake Erie got on the board while Andrew Shaw, in his first game back from a 6 game suspension, was serving a 2 minute minor for goalie interference. Luke Walker scored his 5th goal of the year at 12:37 to cut Rockford's lead in half at 2-1.
The Monsters would turn a Leddy slashing penalty into a tied game when defenseman Tyson Barrie scored his 5th goal of the year at 2:58 of the 3rd period. The game would remained tied until Brandon Saad struck for his 4th goal of the year at 10:40. Clendening picked up his 2nd assist of the night on the eventual game winning goal. The rookie blue liner now has 6 points (2 G, 4 A) in his last 3 games. Shaw put the icing on the cake with an empty net goal, his 2nd of the season at 19:50 to seal the 4-2 win. Ryan Stanton and Phillipe Paradis were given assists on the goal. Alec Richards stopped 30 of the 32 shots he faced to improve his record to 3-1-0-0 on the year.