Rockford, Ill.- There aren't as many "firsts" in a team's third season in a league, but the Rockford IceHogs found one on Saturday at the Rockford MetroCentre.
Rockford beat the Lake Erie Monsters for the first time in four attempts at home (1-3-0-0) by a 4-2 score to post their fifth straight win and sixth in eight games (6-1-1-0).
"It feels good especially before the holiday break to get on a roll and get above .500," said the game's No. 1 Star Pete MacArthur. "We didn't play our best game tonight. If we had played a team that was on a little bit of a better streak, we might have been in trouble."
Kyle Greentree tallied two goals including the game winner, and Mark Cullen, Jack Skille and Pete MacArthur all had two assists in the contest.
Daryl Boyle's second goal of the campaign came on a blast from the blue line at 4:26 in the first period on a feed from Cullen. MacArthur also had an assist. The blast sent the teddy bears flying on Teddy Bear Toss night. Rockford fans donated 1,457 stuffed animals to charity Saturday by throwing them on the ice after the IceHogs’ first goal.
Then in the second period, Bryan Bickell knocked in a cross-ice feed from MacArthur to give the Hogs a little cushion at 6:08.
"I think the guys are feeling good," said defenseman Mike Brennan. "Whenever you're winning there's a positive attitude. We just need to play all 60 minutes."
The Hogs lengthened their lead when Greentree scored on a feed from Skille at 4:37 in the third period. Bracken
But the Monsters finally solved goalie Joe Fallon at 6:25 on a goal by Brent Skinner with assists from Darren Haydar and T.J. Hensick.
"We need to make sure we keep going at teams and stop playing on our heels," MacArthur said. "When you're just trying to stop a team from scoring, you're going to be in trouble. We need to keep going at teams."
Greentree took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play to give Rockford the three-goal lead back with helpers from Skille and Cullen at 17:17, but then Marty Sertich got the last word with assists from Brett Skinner and Brian Willsie.
Lake Erie's Billy Sauer had 25 saves, while Fallon made 22 for his team-leading seventh win (7-5-0) of the season. Both teams were 1-for-5 on the power play.
Next Home Game: Sunday, Dec. 6 vs. Manitoba Moose: The game will begin at 4:05 p.m. The IceHogs complete their second four games in five night stretch against the Moose. Sunday is another Family Four Pack game which includes four tickets, four hot dogs, four soft drinks and four popcorns for just $44. All students with a valid student ID can also get the best seat in the house for just $10 with the WXRX Student Rush program after 6 p.m.