Cleveland, Ohio- For the fourth straight game the Rockford IceHogs had to play extra hockey. The IceHogs battled back from an early 2-0 deficit to top the Lake Erie Monsters 4-3 in the shootout at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Rockford center Martin St. Pierre was the star once again for the IceHogs, tallying two goals, an assist and potting the game winner in the shootout. Rockford also extended its unbeaten streak to six straight (4-0-2-2), tying a season high.
St. Pierre for the second straight game clinched the game in round five of the shootout. After Kris Versteeg and Jack Skille tallied for Rockford, David Jones and Brent Kelly countered for Lake Erie. But in the final round, St. Pierre slipped the game-winner five-hole past Jason Bacashihua to win it.
The Hogs tripped out of the gate and fell behind 2-0 3:19 into the first frame. The Monsters took the 1-0 advantage at 2:35 when defenseman Ray Macias ripped in his second goal of the season. Then just 44-seconds later, winger Eric Healy was set up by Wyatt Smith on a breakaway and Healy beat Corey Crawford for his sixth lamp lighter of the campaign.
Rockford closed the gap to 2-1 at 11:03 of the second frame. Winger Bryan Bickell’s rebound bounced out to St. Pierre and the Hogs centerman knocked in his team leading 10th goal of the season past Bacashihua. Rookie winger Adam Hobson also helped with an assist his first career professional point.
Not to be outdone by St. Pierre for the club goal-scoring lead, winger Troy Brouwer tied the game with his 10th marker of the season. St. Pierre and Versteeg set it up on the power play at 17:17 tying the game at 2-2 before the second intermission.
In the third frame, Chris Stewart put the Monsters back on top when he flipped a power-play goal over Crawford’s shoulder at 9:17 making it 3-2. St. Pierre, however, had an answer for the IceHogs as he shoved his second goal of the night past Bacashihua at 1:19 to force the extra hockey.
Shots were evened up at 38 a piece and Crawford, who has been in net for Rockford for each of Rockford’s six games during its hot stretch, recorded 35 saves in the winning effort.
Next Home Game: Friday, Dec. 14 vs. Rochester Americans. The game starts at 7:05 p.m. Rockford is back on home ice to take on another North Division foe. Next Friday the IceHogs welcome the Rochester Americans to the MetroCentre for their first and only visit to Rockford during the 2007-08 regular season. ?The game is the second and final match-up between the two clubs in ‘07-08.