12/30/2013 7:05 PM
Photo by Kris Gray
Rockford, Ill.- The Rockford IceHogs pelted Charlotte Checkers goaltender Anton Khudobin with a season-high 43 shots, but were only able to get two past him, losing 3-2 to the Checkers on Monday at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
Down a goal and on a power play that carried over into the third period, the IceHogs took advantage and tied the game up at 2-2 just 26 seconds in. Joakim Nordstrom dropped a pass back for Brad Winchester to light the lamp and tie the game for the second time on the night. Winchester’s goal gave him a team-best 10 on the season, making him the first on Rockford’s roster to reach the double digit goal plateau.
Charlotte got the goal back however, to regain control once again at 3-2. With traffic in front of Kent Simpson, Austin Levi scored his first AHL goal on a blast from the blue line at 2:59 of the third period to chase Simpson from the matchup.
Rockford had a chance to tie the game once again with a late power play, but Khudobin held strong in his second game of a conditioning stint with Charlotte to knock off the IceHogs, 3-2.
The IceHogs grabbed the early 1-0 lead when Brandon Pirri tallied his third goal of the campaign. Alex Broadhurst lead a two-on-one rush before dishing the puck for Pirri to stash in the cage 6:12 into the first period.
Late in the opening frame Charlotte tied the score at one a piece. Brody Sutter fired a puck at the IceHogs net, and Nicolas Blanchard redirected the shot underneath Simpson with 2:15 remaining in the first frame.
The Checkers picked up in the second period where they left off in the first, taking their first lead of the night just 1:55 in. Beau Schmitz and Brett Sutter set up Chris Terry on a Charlotte power play for his 12th goal of the season to put the Checkers on top, 2-1.
Simpson turned away 23 of the 26 Checkers shots he faced and was tagged with the loss. Mac Carruth, who came in on relief, stopped all 14 attempts.
Next Home Game: Friday, Jan. 3 vs. the Iowa Wild. The first IceHogs game of 2014 will be against a division rival, when the Hogs and Wild face off at 7 p.m. The first 2,500 fans to the game will receive a Scotty Bowman Bobblehead courtesy of U.S. Cellular.