HOGS FALL 4-3 IN THIRD STRAIGHT SHOOTOUT

By: Amy Spivey
Photo by Greg Hamil
Rockford, Ill.- For the third consecutive game, 65 minutes was not enough time to determine a victor, so the Rockford IceHogs played in another shootout, this time against the San Antonio Rampage. While Rockford came out on top in the previous two, San Antonio grabbed the all-important second point on Saturday, taking a 4-3 victory over the IceHogs at the BMO Harris Bank Center.

The IceHogs had a 3-2 lead going into the third period, but the Rampage stomped it out with a tally from Jon Matsumoto, who blasted his 21st goal of the season past Carter Hutton at the 12:18 mark of the final frame to make it 3-3. Tyson Strachan and Drew Shore earned assists on the play.

Neither team could muster a goal during the five-minute overtime, so Rockford went to yet another shootout. Mark Cullen and James Wright tallied for San Antonio to give them the win, while Terry Broadhurst was the only IceHogs skater to light the lamp in the seven round affair.

Rostislav Olesz put Rockford on the board first with a power-play marker. Kyle Beach carried the puck into the San Antonio zone and got it to Peter LeBlanc behind the Rampage net. The second-year center then sent a pass to Olesz, who was parked right in front of Jacob Markstrom, and the winger slipped in his 16th goal of the season past the San Antonio netminder five-hole at 13:52 of the opening frame.

The Rampage came back in the second period with two quick tallies to take a 2-1 lead. First, while on the man advantage, former IceHogs forward Bracken Kearns redirected a Sean Sullivan blast from the blue line and past Carter Hutton to tie the game at the 7:11 mark.

Then, just 30 seconds later, Michal Repik fired a point blank shot that Hutton thought he had covered, but the puck slipped out of his grasp and Repik was there to clean up his own rebound, putting the Rampage up 2-1. Matsumoto and James Wright garnered helpers on the play.

Later in the frame, the IceHogs reclaimed the lead with two goals of their own. At the 12:13 mark, Matt Fornataro set up Brandon Pirri in the slot, and the centerman let go of a blast that beat Markstrom to tie the game. Fornataro’s helper was his 100th career professional assist.

Olesz continued his red-hot streak with his second goal of the night at the 14:48 mark to give Rockford a 3-2 advantage. The winger redirected a Ryan Stanton shot from the blue line and past the San Antonio backstopper, putting the IceHogs back on top. The 26-year-old, who notched 2g-1a last night against Peoria, now has five points on the weekend.

The IceHogs went 1-for-3 on the power play and San Antonio converted on one of two man advantage opportunities.

Hutton made 28 saves in the shootout loss while Markstrom turned away 46 of 49 Rockford shots to earn the win.




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