Rockford, Ill. – Chicago Blackhawks 2014 first-round draft pick, Nick Schmaltz, provided each of the Rockford IceHogs’ (7-12-2-2) two goals in his first career AHL game, but an overtime goal from Joe Whitney spelled the difference in a 3-2 loss to the San Antonio Rampage (10-11-1-0) Wednesday night at BMO Harris Bank Center
With Rockford trailing 2-0 entering the second period, Schmaltz erased the deficit on his own during his AHL debut. The 20 year old converted on each of his two shots in the second frame.
Schmaltz cut the lead to 2-1 when he split two Rampage defenders and then beat San Antonio goalie Spencer Martin for his first AHL tally at 10:43.
He then knotted the game at 2-2 with a snipe from behind the right faceoff circle on his second shot of the game with 19 seconds remaining in the second. Tanner Kero assisted on both of Schmaltz’s goals and now has notched a point (2G, 8A) in seven of the past 10 games. Kero leads the team in assists (11) and points (15).
Whitney netted his game-winner 3:27 in the extra frame to give the Rampage the series opener. The loss also extended the IceHogs’ winless streak to seven games (0-4-1-2).
The Rampage capitalized on two of six power plays in the opening frame. Mike Sislo scored just 7:59 into the first period when he finished on a tic-tac-toe passing play from Gabriel Bourque and Whitney.
Matt Lashoff made the score 2-0 with a blast from the right point during a 5-on-3 power play.
IceHogs goalie Jake Hildebrand made his first career AHL start. The 23 year old helped kill five power plays while turning away 36 of 39 shots.
Next Home Game: Saturday, December 17 vs. Manitoba Moose. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. Rockford takes on the Moose on Red Kettle Night at the BMO Harris Bank Center.