Photo by Greg Hamil
Rockford, Ill. – Despite seeing their 11-game point streak come to an end last weekend, the Rockford IceHogs continued their hot stretch on home ice increasing their point streak at the BMO to eight games (7-0-0-1) after knocking off the Rochester Americans 4-2.
With the win, Rockford increased their point lead on the Amerks to four in the Western Conference standings, but Rochester has four-games in hand on the IceHogs.
The Hogs offense has been sparked by a red-hot Jeremy Morin, who captured the American Hockey League’s player of the month award in February, and the winger continued his torrid pace. Pierre-Marc Bouchard setup Morin for his team-best 22nd goal of the season 6:23 into the first period to give the IceHogs an early 1-0 advantage. The goal moved his point streak to 13-games, tying an AHL season-long mark.
Just :52 later Pat Mullane extended the IceHogs lead to 2-0 with his fifth tally of the season off a feed from Brad Mills and Phillip Danault.
In the second period, the IceHogs capitalized off an Americans turnover to push the lead to three. Goaltender Nathan Lieuwen came out of his net and misplayed a loose puck and Terry Broadhurst was right there to toss it in the net for his 14th goal of the season.
Rochester was finally able to crack Jason LaBarbera to get on the board with a power play marker 5:27 into the third period. Brayden McNabb sent Kevin Porter racing into the Hogs’ zone and the center ripped a shot that found the back of the net to make it a 3-1 game.
The Americans used another power play to climb right back into the game with 8:02 remaining in the third. For the second time of the period and game, Porter snapped a shot past LaBarbera to bring the score to 3-2.
Rockford had two chances to extend their lead to a pair with 5-on-3 power plays late in the third period, but Rochester snuffed them out, holding the IceHogs to 0-9 on the power play overall.
Brandon Mashinter, however, dumped his tenth goal of the season into an empty Amerks net at 19:49 to ice the game.
Next Home Game: Saturday, Mar. 8 vs. Milwaukee Admirals: Game time is at 7 p.m. This will be the second of a home-and-home set for these two rivals. The game is Autism Awareness Night at the BMO and Autism Awareness Ribbon Magnets will be handed out. Local singer/songwriter Anthony Billups will be performing live pre-game and during intermissions. Billups is from Rockton, Ill. and is featured on A&E's new reality tv series, Crazy Hearts: Nashville.