Matthew Highmore’s hot start powers IceHogs to weekend split at home

The IceHogs topped the Wild and fell to the Admirals in their home-opening weekend.

After a week off from the opening game of the AHL season, the Rockford IceHogs opened the BMO Harris Bank Center with a back-to-back set of games over the weekend. The IceHogs split the first two home games of the year with a 7-4 win over the Iowa Wild on Saturday night and a 5-3 loss to the Milwaukee Admirals on Sunday night.

In a tale of two different games for the IceHogs, they benefited from seven power-play opportunities against the Wild on Saturday, converting on two of them with goals from  Matthew Highmore and Erik Gustafsson. Sunday was a different story as the IceHogs were forced to kill off seven power-play opportunities for the Admirals, giving up two goals on the man-advantage themselves.

Saturday, Oct. 14 — IceHogs 7, Wild 4

  • IceHogs outshot the Wild, 46-31 (21-5 in the first period)
  • Fourteen IceHogs skaters notched at least one point (three players with two-point games)
  • Jean-Francois Berube recorded his second win of the season in a 27-save performance
  • IceHogs were 3-of-3 on the penalty kill/

Key quote

“It’s tough to play sixty perfect minutes, but we want that urgency and pace of play (from the first period) to be there for the most part. If it is, then we’re going to have a lot of success.” - Head coach Jeremy Colliton

Sunday, Oct. 15 — Admirals 5, IceHogs 3

  • IceHogs outshot the Admirals, 38-34 (20-8 in the third period)
  • IceHogs recorded their third straight game with a power-play goal (1-of-3 on the night)
  • Defenseman Darren Raddysh recorded his first career professional goal
  • Forward Matthew Highmore has points in all three games to begin the season (3G, 2A)/

Key quotes (via the team website)

“We’ve had an O.K. start, but I’ve seen much more in these guys. We’re going to keep working.” - Colliton

“We feel we are a really good five-on-five team, but the constant penalties break up our flow and our game, it just slows the game down.” - Colliton

“We have a lot of speed and talent here, if we can stay out of the box we are going to win some games.” - Center Laurent Dauphin

The IceHogs are back in action on Friday as they open three games in three nights by hosting the Grand Rapids Griffins. Saturday night will be a short trip north to take on the Admirals before heading back home to close the weekend with a Sunday home game against the Hershey Bears. Puck drops are 7 p.m. on Friday, 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 4 p.m. on Sunday.