Rookie winger Jake Skille was the star of the show tonight with three goals and an assist for his first four-point performance in professional hockey. (Photo by Jim Orando)
Skille's first professional hat trick comes on game-winning goal in overtime.
Rockford, Ill.- No hat tricks for the Rockford IceHogs this season? Not anymore.
Jack Skille put three in the back of the net en route to a 4-3 overtime win over the Iowa Stars at the Rockford MetroCentre on Sunday. It was the 20th multi-goal game for an IceHogs skater this season, but the first trifecta.
Skille’s most dramatic marker came in the OT when he finished off a 2-on-1 breakaway with Petri Kontiola. The give-and-go was completed when Skille fired his 14th goal of the season past Steve Silverthorn at 3:44 of the extra session. The overtime win was the first of the season on home ice for Rockford and fourth overall.
His first came off of a pass from Colin Fraser. Skille slipped the puck under Tobias Stephan on the backhand at 4:22 in the first period for the game's first score. The rookie winger then followed it up with another goal at 1:55 in the second thanks to assists from Jerramie Domish and Fraser.
And with the goal, the Iowa Stars pulled starting net-minder Tobias Stephan from the game in favor of Silverthorn. Stephan finished with 14 saves in 21:55 of playing time.
The Stars cut the lead in half with a power-play marker from Chris Conner at 7:58 with a helper from Tommy Wandell. Conner fired a shot off of Wade Flaherty’s glove and in off of a face-off win in the Rockford zone. And Konstantin Pushkarev followed it up with a tally at 10:58 to tie the game. Marty Sertich and BJ Crombeen were credited with the assists.
Kontiola later put the IceHogs up 3-2 with a goal at 14:26 when he knocked a Skille rebound in. Jim Fahey also helped with the goal.
But the Stars would not go quietly. Janos Vas, with helpers from Wandell and Francis Wathier, slipped one past Flaherty at 5:35 in the third to tie the game at three. Vas’s centering pass banked off of Hogs defenseman Matt Macdonald’s leg and in to tie the contest and eventually force overtime.
Flaherty claimed the win after turning away 35 Iowa shots while Silverthorn was saddled with the loss in relief of Stephan, blocking 16 Rockford shots.
Next Home Game: Friday, March 21 vs. Quad City Flames. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. The IceHogs and Flames mix it up at the MetroCentre for the final time this season. The IceHogs and Comcast welcome SpongeBob SquarePants to the game.