Rockford, Ill.- In the third period alone, the Houston Aeros put up 16 shots on goal to Rockford’s three as they worked to overcome a two-goal deficit. But goaltender Carter Hutton stood tall, only letting in one marker as the Rockford IceHogs held on for a 2-1 victory on Friday night at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
Down 2-0 late in the game, Chad Rau gave Houston life when he tallied with just two minutes to go in the third period. A bouncing puck resulted in a scramble in front of the IceHogs net, and Rau corralled the puck just enough to slip it past Hutton and make it a one-goal game.
The Aeros then pulled Joe Fallon in favor of the extra attacker, but Hutton and the Hogs shut the door in the final minutes, enduring a 6-on-5 flurry to take a 2-1 victory.
Rockford’s first marker came on the power play with less than a minute to go in the opening frame. Just four seconds into the man advantage, Kyle Beach fed a pass to Brian Fahey on the blue line, and the veteran defenseman blew his fourth goal of the season past Fallon to give the IceHogs the 1-0 lead at the 19:30 mark. Beach earned his first point in his first game back since suffering an injury on Oct. 28. Peter LeBlanc earned the secondary assist on the play.
Rostislav Olesz put the IceHogs up by two with another late period tally, this time with under four minutes to go in the middle stanza. Chris DiDomenico gathered the puck behind the Houston net and found Olesz open in front, and the winger flipped his 13th goal on the campaign over Fallon’s shoulder to push the IceHogs lead to 2-0.
Hutton turned away 27 Aeros shots to earn his 19th win of 2011-12, while Fallon made 15 saves in the loss.
Rockford went 1-for-3 on the power play while killing off all five of Houston’s man advantage opportunities.
Next Home Game: Saturday, March 24 vs. Houston Aeros. Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m. The IceHogs and Aeros wrap up their season series at the BMO Harris Bank Center. The first 2,500 fans into the building will pick up a Ben Smith Bobblehead thanks to T6 Broadband.
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”