Rockford runs winning streak to six straight after 3-2 win
Rosemont, Ill.- The Rockford IceHogs have gone to a shootout in three of the last four games, and have found themselves the victor in all of them.
On Sunday, the victim was the Chicago Wolves in the Allstate Arena, a building in which the IceHogs have only won twice in ten trips, by a score of 3-2.
"This is huge," said winger Jack Skille of beating the Wolves in their first meeting of the 2008-09 season. "They're really good at home and we knew that coming into this barn that we had to play hard."
Both goalies stood out in the shootout, as they did in regulation. Antti Niemi only allowed one puck through in seven attempts, while Ondrej Pavelec let through goals from Skille and Tim Brent, the game winner in the seventh round.
And with the win, the IceHogs rolled to their sixth straight win and a sweep of the three-game weekend.
"Any time you can take six points in a weekend," Skille said. "It's a really good weekend."
In regulation, it was Skille and Chicago's Joe Motzko show through most of the game. The two wingers accounted for all of the scoring as the two teams each scored twice in the first three frames.
Motzko shot the puck past Antti Niemi in the middle of a scrum at 1:56 in the second frame with helpers from Arturs Kulda and Matt Anderson to give the Wolves a 2-1 advantage.
But then Skille tied the score for the second time in the game at 10:02 thanks to a quick dish from Mike Brennan, his first career professional point in his eighth pro game. Petri Kontiola also had a helper.
"I had a couple of chances at the end there" Skille said of a chance at notching the second hat trick in IceHogs AHL history. "But it's not about me. Kontiola had a good game and we really played well as a team."
Motzko gave Chicago an early lead in the first period as well. The winger took a cross-ice pass from Grant Lewis and shot it past Niemi, who was committed on the other side of the net, at 2:05 in the first period. Anderson also had an assist.
And Skille tied the game at one thanks to a nifty feed from Kontiola at 14:12. Skille took a pass from Bryan Bickell at the far blue line, fed it to Kontiola at the near blue line. Skille took it back a couple of steps later on a breakaway and drove it over Ondrej Pavelec's outstretched glove.
The only other time that Rockford was not the first team to score this season, was a game against the Quad City Flames in Moline. The Hogs lost that game 3-1.
Coming off of a 3-0 shutout of Norfolk on Saturday, Niemi finished with 34 saves for his fourth win of the season in four starts. Pavelec had 29 saves.
Next Home Game: The Rockford IceHogs are taking on the Manitoba Moose in the first of two home games against North Division opponents at 7:30 p.m. inside the Rockford MetroCentre. It's Halloween and IceHogs are marking the holiday with Trick or Treating with IceHogs players after the game. Any child under 12 who comes in costume will get $4 off any ticket and will be given a reusable shopping bag after the game to trick or treat with the IceHogs.