11/25/2015 9:40 PM
Photo by Todd Reicher
Rockford, Ill. – After struggling out of the gate on the power play to begin the 2015-16 season, the Rockford IceHogs man advantage has been notching some key goals lately. The IceHogs used two power-play goals to knock off the San Antonio Rampage 3-2 in overtime on Thanksgiving Eve.
The victory pushed Rockford’s home point streak to seven straight contests (5-0-1-1) after beginning the campaign with back-to-back defeats at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
With Rockford up 2-1 late in the third period, San Antonio’s Michael Schumacher tied the game to eventually force overtime. Schumacher was on the doorstep and batted in a Colin Smith rebound past Michael Leighton at 15:20 of the final frame for his fourth marker of the season.
In overtime, Rockford defenseman Ville Pokka drew a slashing penalty on Trevor Cheek and the Hogs capitalized. On the 4-on-3 advantage, Viktor Svedberg fired a puck in on Calvin Pickard, but a Rampage defender blocked the shot and it kicked out to defenseman Erik Gustafsson streaking down the left wing. The blueliner buried his first career AHL tally 3:52 into the extra session to give Rockford the 3-2 win.
Much of the first period featured a defensive battle on both sides of the ice before San Antonio finally struck with 52 seconds left in the opening period. Following a faceoff draw in the IceHogs zone due to icing, Patrick Bordeleau worked the puck over to Troy Bourke and he found the back of the net to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Rockford countered in the middle frame with two goals to take control of the game. Vince Hinostroza and Jeremy Morin connected on the power play to tie the game at 1-1 at 11:14 in the second period. Then, Dennis Ramussen gave the IceHogs a 2-1 lead when he redirected Cameron Schilling’s shot from the point with 29 seconds showing on the clock.
Leighton made 26 saves to earn his 10th win of season, while Pickard was the loser despite turning away 34 Rockford shots. The IceHogs finished 2-5 on the power play and held the Rampage to 0-5.
Next Home Game: Friday, November 27 vs. Chicago Wolves at 7 p.m. The IceHogs play the Wolves for the second time this year in an Illinois Lottery Cup showdown. Rockford will wear specialty “Ugly Holiday Sweater” jerseys with an in-game auction for select game-worn sweaters with proceeds benefitting the University of Illinois College of Medicine and prostate cancer research. The IceHogs will also try to set a Guinness World Record for most mustaches in one location when they invite all fans with facial hair onto the ice for a group picture after the gam