Rockford, Ill.- Call it revenge for last season's playoff sweep or call it the product of a team playing well at home, but the Rockford IceHogs cruised to a 6-1 win over the Milwaukee Admirals at the Rockford MetroCentre on Friday.
Corey Crawford was brilliant in net making 32 saves including 15 in the second period to keep Rockford in control.
"Another typical night from him," said defenseman Brian Connelly. "Any time you can give up one goal, it just means we have to do the rest. We got a couple there and he got some more confidence. He moved the puck well for us and it was a great effort by him."
Evan Brophey put the Hogs on the board with his first of the season, a quick shot past Mark Dekanich at 10:04 in the first frame at the Rockford MetroCentre. Mike Brennan had an assist.
Jack Skille found room in the deep slot and drove the puck past Dekanich at 17:49 to put the Hogs up by two. Kyle Greentree and Mark Cullen recorded the helpers on Skille’s first goal with Rockford.
In the second period, Danny Bois picked up his own rebound and put it top shelf at 2:11 to give the IceHogs some insurance, making it 3-0. Rob Klinkhammer and Brophey had the helpers.
"Guys were just more focused tonight," said Connelly. "We were getting pucks in deep and getting shots on the net. This is a good one to build on and we just have to do it again tomorrow."
Then Mike Santorelli put the Admirals on the board when he drove the puck under Crawford at 6:55 in the second with helpers from Peter Olvecky and Jonathon Blum. That’s as close as Milwaukee could make it, however, as Crawford slammed the door the rest of the way.
The third period started on a power play for the IceHogs and Connelly took advantage. The rookie blue liner snuck up the left side, took a pass from Greentree and put it in at 1:05 in the final frame to give Rockford a 4-1 lead. The second assist went to Cullen.
"The crowds have been good so far and they were energetic," Connelly said. "We were building off of that. This is a good building to play in so hopefully it will continue."
Akim Aliu got in on the action with his third goal of the season at 16:28 in the third with assists from Klinkhammer and Dave Phillips. The helper was the first career AHL point for Phillips.
Mark Cullen wrapped things up for the IceHogs with his fourth goal of the season. The goal came with 1:19 remaining and help from Connelly and Daryl Boyle. Cullen finished the game with a season-high three points (1g-2a).
Rockford was 2-for-4 on the power play and Milwaukee was 0-for-3.
Next Home Game: Saturday, Oct. 31 vs. Milwaukee Admirals. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. After you’re done trick-or-treating, come to the MetroCentre for the IceHogs and Admirals. The first 2,500 fans to the game will receive an IceHogs aluminum bottle courtesy of Culligan and 97ZOK. Also, all kids 12-and-under who come dressed in costume can trick-or-treat with the team on the ice after the game.