Rockford blew a 3 goal lead at home to the Texas Stars last night and have to rebound quickly versus the Chicago Wolves tonight a 7 PM.
Just when you think Alec Richards was taking control of the #1 goalie spot, last night happened. The IceHogs stormed out to a 3-0 lead in the first 4:37 of the game. Jimmy Hayes scored his 5th goal of the year at 1:51 from Ben Smith and Brett Lebda. Marcus Kruger notched his 4th goal of the season, on the power play, at 3.32. Brandon Saad and Adam Clendening were credited with assists. The best part about these two goals was that Hayes and Kruger scored on rebounds. It is encouraging to see them out in front of the net doing the dirty work. Plays like these will take them a long way with the big boys. Hayes added his 2nd goal of the period at 4:37 from Shawn Lalonde and Smith. Unfortunately there was still over 54 minutes left in the game.
The Stars would score the next 4 goals of the game, two in the 1st period and two more in the 2nd period. Andrew Shaw stopped the bleeding when he tied the game at 4 at the 17:13 mark of the 2nd period. Clendening and Nick Leddy picked up the assists. This was Shaw's 4th goal of the year and his 3rd in three games since returning from his six game suspension. The Hogs would give up their 3rd power play goal of the game to Colton Sceviour at the 9:02 mark of the 3rd period to complete the collapse. The penalty kill allowed goals on all three power play attempts from the Stars. Richards gave up five goals on just 19 shots. That's not good, kids!
The good news the Hogs don't have long to get back on the ice. The bad news is, tonight's game is against the Chicago Wolves who have won all three games against Rockford this season. The Hogs need to improve on their 2-7-0-1 record within the Midwest Division and tonight would be the perfect to to start. Jeremy Morin has 2 of his team high 7 goals against Chicago this season. Martin St. Pierre has 3 of his team high 11 assists versus the Wolves in three games. Brett Sterling, Andrew Ebbett and Bill Sweatt have all scored 2 goals against the IceHogs this year. I expect Carter Hutton to be back in net for Rockford tonight after Richard's poor performance last night.
Tonight's game starts at 7 and can be seen by Chicago Comcast customers on channel 100. Hopefully those of us who have DirecTV or are not in viewing area can catch a good feed somewhere. If not, you can listen to the audio stream on the both the IceHogs site and the AHL's website.