Hogs are 1-1-0-0 so far in their five-game home stand
Rockford, Ill.- A night after nothing went their way, the breaks were falling everywhere for the Rockford IceHogs as they beat the Abbotsford Heat 6-3 at the Rockford MetroCentre.
Six different players scored and 14 different skaters got a point as the Hogs posted four in the first period and two more in the third to rebound from a bad loss on Friday.
Defenseman Brian Connelly unloaded a blast from the slot for his second goal of the season to start the scoring at 1:35 with assists from Danny Bois and Mark Cullen. Then Bois put the Hogs up 2-0 just 20 seconds later with helpers from Matt Keith and J.C. Sawyer, who with Maxime Tanguay and Alec Richards was recalled from Toledo this morning.
"It was kind of a downer in the locker room this morning because guys didn't feel like they gave 100 percent last night," Connelly said. "We got a few bumps here and there and we came out with fire. We just have to play like that every night."
Cullen punched in his team-leading seventh goal of the season on the power play at 3:05 in the first to give Rockford a 3-0 lead as he was falling to the ice in front of the net. Tanguay and Pete MacArthur were credited with the assists.
With Abbotsford on the power play, Mikael Backlund got one back at 11:55 to make the score 3-1. Assists went to Jason Jaffray and Carsen Germyn.
But then Jack Skille took the goal back at 17:34 on the power play, pushing Leland Irving from the game. Connelly and Mike Brennan got the helpers.
"We have to come out like this from here on out," Connelly said. "That is the benefit of a pro schedule, you have to come back the next night (after a bad loss). It was good for our team, it was good for all of us."
In the second period, David Ver Der Gulik found the back of the net at 15:15, with help from Garth Murray and John Negrin, and Negrin followed it up at 17:48 to make the score 4-3. Colin Stuart and Jaffray had the assists.
But with the Heat within reach, the Hogs took control. Akim Aliu let out a drive from the point that went under David Shantz for Rockford's fifth goal of the game at 2:07 in the third period. Daryl Boyle and Bryan Bickell factored in the scoring.
Nathan Davis took his turn then at 6:23 with a helper from Bracken Kearns to put the game out of reach for the Heat.
The Hogs took advantage of 47 Abbotsford penalty minutes, finishing 2-for-6 on the advantage. The Heat were 1-for-2 on the power play. Joe Fallon stopped 24 of 27 shots for his second consecutive win against Abbotsford. Irving took the loss with seven saves, while Shantz stopped nine.
Next Home Game: Wednesday, Nov. 18 vs. Texas Stars: The puck drops at 7 p.m. The Rockford IceHogs continue a six-game homestand. The two teams play a total of eight times in 2009-10, three of the meetings happen in November. It’s a Golden Goal Wednesday, meaning if the IceHogs score with 9:10 left on the clock in the third period, one lucky fan will win $10,000. All high school and college students with a valid student ID can purchase the best available seat for just $10 at the MetroCentre's Box Office up to one hour prior to the game with the WXRX Student Rush program.