Photo by Greg Hamil
Des Moines, Iowa-Three goals had been the Rockford IceHogs magic number this season. Entering Saturday’s game against the Iowa Chops, Rockford had a record of 14-0-0-2 when scoring at least three goals in a game this season.
That didn’t hold up on Saturday as Rockford came up one-goal short in a 6-5 loss to the Chops at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
A high scoring first period began when Iowa potted the first goal 6:32 in. Winger T.J. Trevelyan blasted his eighth goal of the season past Antti Niemi off of an Adrian Veideman feed. John de Gray also helped with the goal.
Rockford then reeled off three straight goals to take a 3-1 lead. Jack Skille began the surge when he tipped a Tim Brent slapper past David LeNeveu on a power play at 9:17, tying the game. Pascal Pelletier helped set it up as well.
Brent then tallied while the IceHogs skated shorthanded to give them the lead. Brent tipped a pass at the Rockford line into the neutral zone, and out skated Brian Salcido into the Iowa zone. On a breakaway Brent flipped his eight lamp lighter of the season past LeNeveu, unassisted, at 12:52.
Defenseman Jordan Hendry put Rockford up by a pair after he one-timed a Rob Klinkhammer pass past LeNeveu for his third goal of the season at 15:11. Jake Dowell also earned an assist on the goal.
Iowa cut the deficit down to a goal at 17:33 while skating on a 5-on-3 power play. Veideman blasted his second goal of the campaign past Niemi off of assists from Trevelyan and Salcido, making it 3-2 at the first intermission.
The second period wasn’t as kind to Rockford, however, as Iowa tallied twice to take a 4-3 lead. Trevelyan tied the game at 3-3 at 4:19 of the frame beating Niemi for his second goal of the night. Later in the period, while on a power play, Matt Beleskey beat Niemi with a blast over the shoulder for his third marker of the season.
The Chops added to their lead in the third period when Salcido picked up the puck in the neutral zone after his penalty expired and deeked out Niemi for his second goal of the season at 1:49.
Veideman stretched the lead to 6-3 with his second power-play goal of the game. Veideman picked up a loose puck in traffic in front of the Rockford goal and deposited his third marker into the back of the net at 13:01.
Down three, Rockford didn’t pack it in and battled back to make it a 6-5 game. Defenseman Tim Hambly blasted his second goal of the season past LeNeveu off of a Nathan Davis face-off win at 13:26 cutting the deficit down to two goals.
Then after the IceHogs killed off a Chops power play, Brent fired his second goal of the night past LeNeveu at 19:26 to make it 6-5.
That was all that Rockford could muster, however, as they failed to solve LeNeveu in final seconds of the game with the extra attacker.
Niemi was saddled with the loss after turning away 22 Iowa shots while LeNeveu got the win after making 30 stops. Rockford was held to 1-9 on the power play while the clubs woes on the penalty kill away from home continued, allowing the Chops three power-play tallies on eight chances.
Next Home Game: Monday, Dec 29 vs. Iowa Chops. Game time is 7:05 p.m. Monday’s game against Iowa is sold out! Fans that do not have tickets can stop by the MetroCentre Box Office at 10 a.m. on Monday and can enquire about some late team released tickets and standing room only tickets. Also on Monday, the Chicago Sky Drumline will entertain the crowd during timeouts and intermissions.