Rockford, Ill- Brandon Pirri entered Saturday’s contest with the Milwaukee Admirals riding a four-game point streak. The center skated away having tied a season-high five-game streak, posting two goals and an assist to lead the Rockford IceHogs to a 4-2 victory at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
Photo by Kris Gray
Tied at 1-1 heading into the second period, Pirri gave the IceHogs the lead with an early power-play tally. Brian Connelly fed a pass to Rostislav Olesz from the blue line, and the winger set up Pirri, who fired a one-timer from the right faceoff circle past Jeremy Smith at 4:57 to make it 2-1 in favor of the IceHogs.
At the 15:15 mark of the middle frame, Brandon Bollig increased the IceHogs lead with his first goal of the season. Byron Froese found Bollig open on the right faceoff circle, and the winger sniped a shot past Smith to push the IceHogs lead to 3-1.
Midway through the final frame, Pirri continued the scoring for Rockford with another power-play marker. Smith went to play the puck behind the Admirals net, but it bounced over his stick and out to Pirri, who wristed in his second goal of the night into the empty net, giving the IceHogs a 4-1 lead at 9:58 of the third period.
Milwaukee got a late goal from Jonathon Blum with 55 seconds left in the game, but the clock ran out, and Rockford skated away with a 4-2 win. The goal was Blum’s second of the game.
The IceHogs got on the board first with a power-play goal from Peter LeBlanc in the opening frame. Brian Connelly made a quick pass to Pirri, who found LeBlanc waiting in the front of the net, and the centerman slapped his ninth goal of the season past Smith at the 10:35 mark.
The Admirals got the equalizer a few minutes later on the man advantage. Ryan Ellis and Blake Geoffrion set up Blum, who rifled a shot from the blue line that snuck past Carter Hutton to tie the game at the 13:57 mark.
The IceHogs were 3-for-5 on the man advantage while Milwaukee converted on one of three power play chances.
Hutton turned away 28 Admirals shots to earn the win, while Smith made 40 saves in the loss.
Next Home Game: Wednesday, Dec. 21 vs. Toronto. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. Rockford hosts the Toronto Marlies for the first and only time this season. It’s also another Taco Bell Dollar Day. Fans can purchase beers, hot dogs, soft drinks and companion tickets for just one dollar a piece.
For every goal that the Rockford IceHogs score in 2011-12, IceHogs head coach Ted Dent will make a donation to children’s cancer research. BMO Harris Bank will also make a donation for every goal to the “BMO Harris Bank Goals For Grades”