Over the weekend, the Rockford IceHogs embarked on the beginnings of a six-game road trip, all against AHL Central Division opponents. After dropping the first game of the year with Derek King in the role of interim Head Coach, the IceHogs were able to come away winners on the road against the Milwaukee Admirals and the Chicago Wolves.
Rockford IceHogs Top Milwaukee Admirals, 2-1
Beginning a six-game road trip, the Rockford IceHogs headed North to take on the Milwaukee Admirals in Milwaukee. Anton Forsberg got the starting nod for Rockford, his last game against the Admirals being a 3-2 overtime win.
Newly acquired forward Justin Auger put the IceHogs up 1-0 late in the 2nd period with his first AHL goal of the season. Auger, signed to a PTO contract on Friday, stands six-foot-six, 230-pounds and skated in six games with the Florida Everblades in the ECHL to begin this season. Auger last played 65 games with the Ontario Reign in the AHL last season.
The IceHogs lead wouldn’t last long though as the Admirals were able to tie the game at 1-1 less than a minute later. Colin Blackwell was able to sneak one short-side past Forsberg for his third goal of the season, sending the game to the third period at 1-1.
In the final frame, the IceHogs out-shot the Admirals 8-5 and Joni Tuulola was able to tally his first goal of the season to break the tie late in the third. With Henrik Samuelsson providing a screen, Tuulola was able to walk in and fire the 2-1 goal by Tom McCollum and it would be enough for the 2-1 win.
Anton Forsberg notched his third-straight win, making 19 saves on 20 shots faced. Forsberg improves to 3-1-0 on the season with a 1.75 GAA and a 0.933 save-percentage.
Rockford IceHogs Survives Chicago Wolves, 4-3
Continuing the six-game road trip, the IceHogs traveled to take on the Chicago Wolves for the first time this season, renewing yet another year of the Illinois Lottery Cup Rivalry. Chicago and Rockford met in the first-round of the Calder Cup Playoffs last season, ending with the IceHogs sweeping the Wolves in three games.
Collin Delia got the start against the Wolves, coming in without a win in his last three starts (0-1-2). Delia fought-off a number of Chicago chances early on in the game, but the breakthrough would come for the IceHogs. Late in the first period, Justin Auger scored his second goal in as many games with Rockford, giving them the 1-0 lead. But, with a late period powerplay, the Wolves would be able to tie the game 1-1 with just 3.9 seconds left in the opening period.
The second period opened in the IceHogs’ favor as Lucas Carlsson was able to give Rockford the 2-1 lead just over 90 seconds into the middle frame. Carlsson’s second goal of the season coming right off of a faceoff won by Victor Ejdsell. Rockford would pad their lead with a powerplay goal from Darren Raddysh just over a minute later. Raddysh’s fourth goal of the season gave Rockford the 3-1 lead, but there would be more to come on the IceHogs’ man-advantage. Mid-way through the period, Dylan Sikura would tally a powerplay goal to extend Rockford’s lead to 4-1. The Wolves cut the IceHogs lead to 4-2 after Keegan Kolesar scored his 1st goal of the year to end the second period with a 2-goal Rockford advantage.
The IceHogs would have an onslaught to deal with in the third period from Chicago. After killing off two penalties in the period, Rockford faced a 6-on-4 powerplay and a longer than seven minute 6-on-5 from the Wolves with Oscar Dansk pulled. Delia would have to not only fight off the puck, but also the Chicago players as their physicality in front of the Rockford net took its toll on the IceHogs’ starter. The Wolves would pull the game to 4-3 with a late goal from Brooks Macek, his 14th of the season, but the IceHogs would be able to survive for the win.
Delia would finish the game with 37 Saves on 40 Shots faced, including 19 saves in the third period alone. Delia improved his record to 5-2-2 with a 2.41 GAA and a 0.931 save-percentage. Rockford is now 5-0-1 over their last six road games.
Stats For Your Consideration
- IceHogs are 6-2-2 over their last 10 games
- Rockford is tied for the most points in the AHL Central Division (19)
- IceHogs are tied for 2nd place in the Central Division based on points-percentage (0.633)
- With a 2-for-10 weekend on the powerplay, the IceHogs now rank 20th in the AHL
- Rockford went 7-for-8 on the penalty kill and are ranked 4th in the league
- After multi-point weekends, Dylan Sikura and Darren Raddysh are now tied for the team-lead in points with 12
- After the weekend, Anton Forsberg and Collin Delia rank in the top-seven for GAA in the AHL
- Forsberg and Delia also both rank in the top-three for save-percentage in the league
The Rockford IceHogs return to action on Wednesday, November 14 against the Grand Rapids Griffins. It will be the second ‘School Day Game’ for the IceHogs this month as they travel to Grand Rapids for a 10:00 AM CT puck drop against the Griffins.
As part of a 39-game stretch of the schedule in which the IceHogs will face ONLY Central Division teams, the IceHogs continue their road trip against the Texas Stars on Friday and the San Antonio Rampage on Saturday. Both puck drops are scheduled for 7:00pm CT.