Rockford, Ill.- After taking the first two meetings in Abbotsford, the Rockford IceHogs were unable to make it three straight and fell to the Heat 4-1 on Friday night at the Rockford MetroCentre.
Wade Brookbank put the Hogs on the board first when he slapped in his first goal of the season at 6:35 in the first period. Kyle Beach picked up a loose puck and found Brookbank sitting in front of the net. Brookbank picked up the feed and tapped it past a diving Leeland Irving. Shawn Lalonde was also credited with an assist on the play.
Early into the second period the Heat made it 1-1 after Mitch Wahl pushed his way through and moved the puck past Richards and a few IceHogs within the crease at 5:23. Cam Cunning and Keith Seabrook were credited with the assists.
Soon after, the Heat took advantage of a three-on-two to take the lead 2-1 over the IceHogs. Leading the attack, Lance Bouma passed the puck over to Gaelan Patterson who couldn't corral the pass, the puck fell back to the feet of Bouma who moved it to his backhand and found the back of the net at 10:17 in the second period. Seabrook was credited with his second assist of the night.
The Heat extended their lead when Cunning found the back of the net to make it 3-1. Richards fought off a Patterson blast, but Cunning was right there to slip in the rebound at 1:07 in the third period. Josh Meyers also factored in on the play with an assist.
Greg Nemisz all but sealed up the game with his fourth tally of the season at 18:02 in the third period. Patterson was credited with the helper.
Irving picked up the win turning away 27 IceHogs attempts and Richards was handed his first loss of the season stopping 14 shots. Both power play units were ineffective as the Hogs were 0-for-6 and Abbotsford was held off the board in three advantages.