Jack Skille was the first IceHogs skater to solve Drew MacIntyre on Monday at the Rockford MetroCentre. (Photo by Greg Hamil)
Hogs beat a first-place team for second time in two games
Rockford, Ill.- The Rockford IceHogs haven't exactly played great in the Rockford MetroCentre in the second half of the 2008-09 season, but you couldn't tell that from the team's last two games.
In another tight game on Monday, the IceHogs slipped past the Milwaukee Admirals 2-1 with a late-game push. Jack Skille and Pete MacArthur put in Rockford's only goals against a strong performance from Drew MacIntyre.
For the second straight game, the IceHogs knocked off a division first-place team. The Hogs beat the North Division's Manitoba Moose 3-2 in a shootout at the Big Orange Box on Saturday.
"We knew they were two really good teams," said defenseman Mike Brennan. "So we had to stick to our game plan. Turnovers have been one of the biggest things that can swing a hockey game, so we wanted to limit that. I think defensively we're playing well."
Skille put the IceHogs up by one at 4:35 in the first period with helpers from Pascal Pelletier and Tyler Mosienko.
"We started simplifying things and moving the puck quicker," Brennan said. "I think the thing is that the guys are playing with a lot of confidence and that's big."
But then the Admirals tied it late in the second with a power-play goal from Ryan Maki at 18:00 to make the score 1-1. Assists went to Mike Santorelli and Robert Dietrich.
The IceHogs had an opportunity to go ahead with a 5-on-3 that lasted 1:33, but the league's third-best penalty kill held Rockford off the board. The IceHogs were 0-for-4 on the man advantage. Milwaukee was 1-for-5 on the power play.
"Momentum swings pretty quick," Brennan said. "We've done a really good job of keeping it even keel and sticking to our game plan. That's the mentality we have to have."
But then with the clock ticking down, Pete MacArthur gave the IceHogs the lead at 15:14 in the third with assists from Evan Brophey and Tim Brent.
Drew MacIntyre stopped 21 shots, while Niemi had 23 saves in his second straight win.
Next Home Game: Wednesday, March 25 vs. Iowa Chops. Game time is slated for 7:05 p.m. The final meeting of the season between the IceHogs and Chops happens on Wednesday at the MetroCentre. The game is the tenth on the season and the IceHogs will try to even the season series with a win. One lucky college student will drive away in a car that will be given away courtesy of Speedway Auto Mall. Wednesday is also another WXRX Student Rush Night as students with a valid ID can purchase any seat for $10 at the door.