Photo by Greg Hamil
IceHogs avenge 5-4 SOL in Providence on Nov. 30
Rockford, Ill.- The Rockford IceHogs got a big show from their offense in the first and second periods. And the nearly sold-out crowd got a big show from some fisticuffs in the third at the Rockford MetroCentre on Saturday.
The IceHogs trounced the Providence Bruins 5-1 in front of 6,051 at the MetroCentre despite playing with just 16 position players.
Troy Brouwer punched through a power play goal at 6:41 in the first period to get things rolling for Rockford. Martin St. Pierre and Jack Skille were credited with the assists.
Colin Fraser made the score 2-0 at 16:49 when he redirected a shot from Gavin Morgan past Jordan Sigalet. Mike Blunden also chipped in a helper. Jack Skille added a marker, with helpers from Jim Fahey and Kris Versteeg, at 18:40 to give the IceHogs a 3-0 lead going into the first intermission.
The hits kept coming in the second. Derek Nesbitt tacked on the Hogs fourth goal at 16:11 with assists from Fahey and St. Pierre. Nesbitt punched through a loose puck from underneath Sigalet for his 11th marker of the season.
And Brouwer put a cap on it with another power-play goal at 17:47 with assists from Justin Fletcher and Nesbitt. Brouwer has an AHL leading 19 goals on the power play and a team best 28 lamp lighters overall.
In the third, it was a different kind of hits that kept coming. A line brawl broke out at 4:56. Fraser and Fletcher received game misconducts for secondary altercations for Rockford. Steve MacIntyre, Chris Collins and Wacey Rabbit were also sent to the showers early.
At 12:05, Providence's Matt Humwick and Rockford's Matt Macdonald were also given game misconducts for secondary altercations. Throw in a couple of minor penalties and the fact that Rockford was playing with only 16 skaters tonight and the Hogs had as few as seven players on the bench at one point in the final 12 minutes of the game.
The total combined penalty minutes grew to 213 by the end of the contest. That is the highest total for a Rockford game this season, breaking the high-water mark set at the Nov. 11 game against San Antonio at the MetroCentre.
Netminder Mike Brodeur missed a shutout by just 14 seconds. He gave one up to Martins Karsums with helpers from Aaron Slattengren and Byron Bitz at 19:46. Brodeur finished with 21 saves in his third start of the season.
Providence's Jordan Sigalet had 20 saves in the loss. The IceHogs were 2-for-6 on the power play compared to Providence's 0-for-3.
St. Pierre moves into sole possession of first in assists in the AHL with 54. He has had five in the first two games of the weekend.
Next Home Game: Sunday, March 2 vs. Peoria Rivermen. Game time is set for 4:05 p.m. Rockford concludes its four game week at home when the Rivermen return to the MetroCentre. The teams meet for the second time in Rockford and sixth overall on the season. The first 1,000 fans to the game on Sunday will pick up IceHogs Poster #4 in a series of six courtesy Pepsi, MedicineMan and Johnson Press.