The Rockford IceHogs scored 4 unanswered goals in the 3rd period to spark a 5-3 come from behind victory over the Milwaukee Admirals on Friday night. The Hogs will host the Chicago Wolves tonight at 7:05.
The IceHogs took advantage of two 3rd period power plays to help erase a 3-1 deficit and remain atop the Midwest Division. Rockford struck first when Rob Flick scored his 2nd goal of the year at 9:13 of the opening period. Peter LeBlanc and Shawn Lalonde assisted on the goal. The Milwaukee Admirals dominated the 2nd period and scored all 3 of their goals in the middle frame. Michael Latta tied the game at 11:44. Gabriel Bourque and Victor Bartley scored 1:07 apart to give the Admirals a two goal lead heading into the final period.
Nick Leddy blasted a shot from the point, while on the power play, at 6:19 to cut the lead to 3-2. Leddy's 2nd goal of the year was assisted by Adam Clendening and Brandon Pirri. Ben Smith provided a screen in front of Jeremy Smith to aid in the goal. It was Smith getting dirty in front of the net again at 12:20 that tied the game at 3. He deflected a Clendening slap shot past Smith for his team high 9th goal of the year. Leddy picked up a secondary assist on the power play goal. Just 39 seconds later Pirri gave the IceHogs a 4-3 with his 8th goal of the season. Andrew Shaw and Martin St. Pierre assisted on the eventual game winning goal. St. Pierre iced the game with an empty net goal, his 9th, that was assisted by Smith.
The Hogs showed how effective shots from the point with traffic in front of the net on the power play can be. Hopefully the Blackhawks coaching staff will remember this if and when the NHL ever starts playing games again. Rockford is also starting to play a much more disciplined style of hockey, which is leading to more wins. The IceHogs only gave Milwaukee one chance on the power play last night. If the Hogs can limit the penalty minutes going forward look for them to stay atop the Midwest Division.
The Chicago Wolves make the trip west on I-90 to the BMO Harris Bank Center for the IceHog's annual Teddy Bear Toss. Tonight is the 5th meeting between the Hogs and Wolves with Rockford's only win coming in their last meeting on November 28. The Wolves were shut out at home by the Grand Rapids Griffins, 3-0 last night. Chicago has only one win in their last five games. Brett Sterling, Jordan Schroeder and Andrew Ebbett all have scored 2 goals against the Hogs this year. Jeremy Morin has scored 3 of his 9 goals against the Wolves this season.