Photo by Greg Hamil
Rockford, Ill. – It was the first home game of the season at the BMO Harris Bank Center, but just four games into the campaign, the IceHogs’ offensive struggles continued as they fell to the Charlotte Checkers 2-1 on Saturday.
The IceHogs jumped out to an early 1-0 advantage at 14:20 in the first period. Defenseman Ryan Stanton fired a puck that Charlotte goaltender Dan Ellis knocked down, but Marcus Kruger crashed the net and pushed it through for his second marker of the campaign. Nick Leddy also chipped in on the play with an assist, his third of the year.
After killing off 21 straight penalties to start the season, the Checkers finally cracked the Hogs penalty kill unit to tie the game at 1-1. Drayson Bowman slipped his second goal of the season past Carter Hutton with help from Zac Dalpe and Marc-Andre Gragnani at 11:11 in the middle frame.
Just 3:11 into the third, Bowman found the net again. Dalpe fired a shot that came loose under Hutton and Bowman whisked it in. A.J. Jenks got the secondary assist as the Checkers took a 2-1 lead.
The Hogs were unable to capitalize on a power play with 1:11 left, as the Checkers held on to take game one of the weekend series, 2-1.
Hutton finished the night with 40 saves and earned the third star, while Ellis finished with 35 saves and the second star.
The IceHogs held Charlotte to 1-for-6 on the man advantage and couldn’t convert on their six opportunities.
Next Home Game: Sunday, Oct. 21 vs. Charlotte Checkers. Game time is set for 5:05 p.m. The IceHogs and Checkers match-up for a second straight contest in Rockford. The first 2,500 fans to the game will pick up an IceHogs picture frame magnet schedule sponsored by T6 Broadband.