ROCKFORD, Ill. — The Rockford IceHogs scored three goals in a 2:55 span in the first period en route to a 6-2 win over the San Antonio Rampage on Wednesday at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
MacKenzie Entwistle, Reese Johnson and Nick Moutrey each had a goal and an assist for Rockford, who scored six goals after being outscored 12-1 this past weekend in Cleveland. Adam Boqvist tallied Rockford’s first power-play goal of the season and Jacob Nilsson netted a shorthanded goal with an empty net. Kevin Lankinen stopped 28 shots in his first start for Rockford (3-5) since the season opener.
“We just hit the reset button,” Moutrey said. “Coaches and players we just kinda talked that we got a great team here. We just got to get back to basics, and that’s what we did.”
Jordan Nolan opened the scoring for San Antonio (4-1-2-1) with a deflection on Nolan Stevens’ shot at 7:56, but it was almost all IceHogs for there with three goals in 2:55 minutes.
Tyler Sikura started things off when his shot from the left faceoff dot rang off the far post then he rushed to the net to bury the rebound to tie it 1-1 at 12:07.
Moutrey gave the IceHogs the lead just 2:04 later when he smacked home a one-timer to the left of the net from Johnson. Entwistle then stole the puck from Joey LaLeggia in the offensive zone and poked it by Husso for his first professional goal.
“Lanks made those saves early in the game and we just kinda fed off of him,” Rockford head coach Derek King said. “We were working so hard to get pucks back. The other team made mistakes and we capitalized on them.”
The IceHogs’ power play struggles continued as they did put a shot on goal on the man advantage at the end of the first and fell to 0-for-29 this season.
Lankinen kept Rockford in the game midway through the second with a big pad save on Evan Polei.
Johnson made it 4-1 moments later with a wrister shot from the slot. Boqvist put a halt to Rockford’s power play woes when he ripped a shot from the right faceoff circle for the team’s first power play goal of the season.
“It was nice to get the first one out of the way,” Boqvist said. “Maybe they start to come more and more.”
King felt relieved for the team to score their first power-play goal.
“I’ve been a little hard on them lately,” King said. “They battled through it, and I told them just to ‘don’t grip the stick because we got another power play. If we don’t score, we don’t score. We’ll just continue to work on it.’
“It was definitely nice to see one go in.”
Derrick Pouliot pulled the Rampage within 5-2 just 3:42 into the third with a shot from the blue line through traffic then Nilsson added an empty netter on the penalty kill as Rockford finished a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill.
The IceHogs continue their five-game homestand Saturday against the Iowa Wild, who won the season opener 3-2 in Des Moines. Iowa (6-1-1-1) rallied for a 4-3 overtime win Wednesday at Grand Rapids.