Evan Brophey put in Rockford's first goal as the IceHogs won their third straight against Manitoba on Saturday. (Photo by Greg Hamil)
Hogs find a way to win in front of fifth sell out of the season
Rockford, Ill.- Coach Bill Peters talked this week about making changes to both the offense and defense after starting the month 1-5-0-1.
A sold-out crowd of 5,994 at the Rockford MetroCentre got to see the effects of those changes as the Rockford IceHogs came back late in the third to beat the Manitoba Moose 3-2 in a shootout.
"We're trying a new defensive system and offensive system both," said Rockford winger Pete MacArthur. "Our focus tonight was just to come out and play 20 minutes at a time and try to take over the game."
At 18:06 in the third frame with Rockford down by one, Tyler Mosienko picked up a rebound off of an Adam Hobson shot on a power play with an extra attacker and put it past Curtis Sanford to even up the score. Tim Hambly also had an assist.
Then in the shootout, Jack Skille, Tim Brent and MacArthur solved Sanford, while no Manitoba shooter could put one past Antti Niemi in his return to the MetroCentre ice after his second recall to the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Hogs and Moose played an intense back-and-forth game throughout the night. Rockford put 36 shots on the board, with Sanford stopping 34 of them.
"(Cory) Schneider and Sanford are both really good," said MacArthur. "(Sanford) is so quick laterally and he has kind of an old-school style. We were looking for places to shoot, but he's really quick. But we got what we deserved and that's two points."
On the other side of the ice, Niemi stopped 25 to improve to 14-12-3.
"But Niemi and Crawford are great goalies and we hear all the time that when you have a combination like this in net, it resonates throughout the whole team," MacArthur said. "They have your back when you make a mistake. It's huge."
The Hogs came out strong with 13 shots in the first, but then in the second, Evan Brophey finally solved Sanford at 11:17 when he tipped in a shot by Mike Brennan. MacArthur won the face-off and dropped it over to Brennan to set up the goal.
But then on a long 5-on-3 power play, Jason Krog tapped the puck past a committed Niemi to even the score at 16:57 in the second.
In the third, Nolan Baumgartner gave Manitoba the advantage on a power play at 7:33 when he put in the rebound of a Krog shot. Guillaume Desbiens also was credited with an assist.
Next Home Game: Monday, March 23 vs. Milwaukee Admirals. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. The first-place Milwaukee Admirals cruise into the Forest City for their second-to-last visit of the season. It’s “Brett Favre Retirement Night” as the IceHogs honor the recently retired football standout with $4 tickets in the upper bowl. The best dressed Favre fan will win a trip to Orlando courtesy of Allegiant Air and 10 fans will walk away with a pair of Wrangler jeans and a book honoring Brett Favre.
Stanley Cup Fact: At 110 years old, the Stanley Cup is the oldest trophy competed for in North America. See the Stanley Cup at the Rockford IceHogs game on Saturday, April 4. For tickets call the Rockford MetroCentre Box Office at 815-968-5222.