Rockford, Ill.- Stringing together their fourth-straight win at home and third-straight overall, the Rockford IceHogs finished off the Milwaukee Admirals 3-2 in overtime in front of 5,455 fans at the Rockford MetroCentre. Goalie Hannu Toivonen kept Rockford in the game with 44 saves, before the IceHogs finished it off in overtime
Photo by Greg Hamil
As overtime began to whittle down, Jassen Cullimore moved the puck over to Brian Connelly and with space he skated down close from the point and found the five-hole opening on Engren for the 3-2 game-winning goal.
After holding off the IceHogs attack early, Brandon Pirri opened up the scoring. A shot by Jeff Taffe deflected back behind the net where a Milwaukee defenseman gathered it in but lost control to Pirri just to the left of the net. Pirri quickly wrapped the puck around on his backhand just beating Atte Engren to give Rockford a 1-0 lead at 8:10 in the first period. Picking up the additional assist on the play was Rob Klinkhammer.
With a man advantage the Admirals evened up the score at 1-1. After a few shots were fought off by Hannu Toivonen, a puck deflected up high and was gloved down by Kelsey Wilson. Wilson immediately shot the puck back to the goal, Toivonen kicked the save out and Andreas Thuresson finished with quick snapshot at 9:34 in the opening frame.
Rockford opened the second period with a marker to take a 2-1 lead. A break out pass by Dylan Olsen went to the stick of Brandon Pirri. Pirri made one quick deke in front of the Admirals defensemen and netted a high hard wrister past the glove-hand of Engren at 3:47, giving Pirri his second goal of the night.
Rockford continued to hold onto their lead through the third period while being vastly outshot but Milwaukee got their break to tie the contest at 2-2 in the latter stage of the game. A shot by Wilson got caught up in a group of IceHogs right in front of the net and while the puck was batted back and forth in the crease, Thuresson slid in the free puck at 11:41. Picking up the second assist was Aaron Johnson.
Notes: Engren made his professional debut tonight stopping 20 of 23 shots, while Toivonen recorded his 17th win stopping 44 shots while facing a season-high 46 shots. The Admirals went 1-4 on the power play, while Rockford finished the game 0-3. Milwaukee hasn’t lost in regulation on the road since Jan.17. Rockford’s win improved their overtime record at home to 5-2.
Next Home Game: Friday, April 8 vs. Lake Erie Monsters: The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. Rockford returns home after a five-game, 12-day road swing to take on the Lake Erie Monsters for the sixth and final time this season. The IceHogs will be celebrating Hammy’s birthday with several area mascots as the team opens the final weekend of the 2010-11 season.