San Antonio, Tex.- If this is how the Rockford IceHogs are going to treat Hannu Toivonen, he’s going to like his stay with the IceHogs. Rockford scored three first period goals, including one just :27 in, during a 4-1 win over the San Antonio Rampage at the AT&T Center.
Toivonen, acquired on Monday from the St. Louis Blues with Danny Richmond, made 32 saves to pick a win in his first Rockford start. Richmond chipped in three assists in the victory.
Entering play on Saturday Matt Keith led the IceHogs with five goals against the Rampage and it didn’t take him long to add to that total. The winger solved Josh Tordjman :27 into the opening frame when he fired home his 17th goal of the season off a Pete MacArthur pass to put Rockford up 1-0.
For the second straight night Derek Nesbitt found the back of the net for Rockford. Nesbitt beat Tordjman far post at 14:12 for his third goal of the year. The marker was set up by Richmond.
Then later in the first period Bracken Kearns would finish off a two-on-one breakaway when he beat newly inserted San Antonio goalie Miika Wiickman over the blocker for his 15th goal of the year, helped by Richmond and Brian Connelly.
In the second period Jeff Hoggan would cut into the IceHogs lead at 8:15. Off a face-off win, Hoggan put a rebound from a David Schlemko shot past Toivonen for his ninth goal of the campaign.
But Rockford responded to restore their three goal cushion. Richmond would complete his playmaker at 13:55 when his slap shot from the point was deflected past Wiikman by Nesbitt for his second goal of the contest.
That’s all that Toivonen and the IceHogs needed as he would turn away all 12 third period San Antonio shots to pick up his first win with Rockford. For the second time this season, the IceHogs didn’t give the opposition a power play chance.
Next Home Game: Sunday, March. 14 vs. Houston Aeros. Game time is 5:05 p.m. Join in the celebration at the Rockford MetroCentre for Hammy's Birthday. The first 2,500 fans into the arena will receive an IceHogs cereal bowl courtesy of General Mills and WROK. The game is also a WXRX Student Rush Night and fans can get Family Four Packs, including four tickets, four hot dogs, four soft drinks and four popcorns for just $44. Plus, the IceHogs are giving away game-worn jerseys of Bracken Kearns, Mike Brennan, Simon Danis-Pepin, Mark Cullen and Evan Brophey. All jersey winners will be drawn at random and fans can sign up to win at the game.