Rockford, Ill.- Special teams have been a sore spot for the Rockford IceHogs this season, but Brandon Pirri lead a power play charge to give the IceHogs a 2-1 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals on Sunday at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
Rockford is now on a season-high four-game winning streak dating back to Jan. 16 against the Texas Stars. Carter Hutton has backstopped the IceHogs in all four games.
Tied at 1-1 after the opening frame, the trio of Pirri, Brian Connelly and Rostislav Olesz utilized another power play opportunity to give Rockford a 2-1 lead. Olesz received a pass from Connelly and sent it over to Pirri, who ripped his team-leading 18th goal of the season past Jeremy Smith glove-side at 8:17 of the middle frame. With his two helpers on the night, Connelly now has 31 assists in 2011-12, leading all Rockford skaters and good for second among all AHL defensemen.
The IceHogs went 2-for-5 on the man advantage while killing off all three Milwaukee power play opportunities. Rockford has killed off their last 27 penalties dating back to January 11 at Chicago.
Aaron Marvin got the Admirals on the board first at 5:49 of the opening frame. Jonathon Blum fired the initial shot from blue line, and Marvin, who was stationed in front of the IceHogs goal, redirected the puck past Hutton for his first goal of the season.
Later in the first, Pirri capitalized on an IceHogs power play with his first goal of the night to tie the game at 1-1. Connelly fed Pirri a pass from the blue line that the centerman one-timed past Smith from the right faceoff circle at the 12:48 mark. Olesz also earned his first helper of the night on the play.
Hutton earned his eighth win of the season after turning away 33 Milwaukee shots and is 5-1-0-0 in his last six starts. The IceHogs netminder has not allowed more than two goals in any of those games.
Smith was tagged with the loss, making 24 saves.
Next Home Game: Saturday, Jan. 28 vs. Milwaukee Admirals: The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. Rockford and Milwaukee meet up once again at the BMO Harris Bank Center for the IceHogs Annual Pink in the Rink Night. The ice will be pink and the IceHogs will be wearing special pink jerseys that will be auctioned off to benefit breast cancer research and awareness.
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”