Rockford splits with Texas on the road


Weekly results

Friday, Jan. 5 — Texas 4, Rockford 1

The Rockford IceHogs skated into Texas a little sluggish and dropped a hard fought affair 4–1 to the host Texas Stars. Texas jumped on top of Rockford at the 11:48 mark of the first period when forward Matej Blumel scored his 14th goal of the season behind IceHogs goaltender Drew Commesso.

Rockford would tie the game early in the second period after Antti Saarela buried his fourth behind Stars netminder Remi Poirier. The goal was assisted by Jalen Luypen.

The final period would be a mess for the visiting team as Texas scored three straight goals and finished off the contest with a 4–1 victory.

Saturday, Jan. 6 — Rockford 5, Texas 3

Game two of the back-to-back was a great bounce back for the IceHogs even though Texas led after the first period of play 2–1. In the period, Texas scored first with a nice goal by Derrick Pouliot that beat Mitchell Weeks to take an early lead. Rockford answered at the 7:12 mark when Logan Nijhoff scored his fourth goal of the season behind Poirier, who was playing both ends of the series in net for Texas. Rockford took a 3–2 lead after Mike Hardman and Anders Bjork scored early in the first half of the second frame. Bjork’s goal was shorthanded after a mess of a second period that included 11 penalties total, six against the IceHogs.

After a late-period goal by Texas tied the score at 3–3 after two periods of action, Rockford would finish the scoring in the third period with two goals, started by Jackson Cates scoring off the rush after a nice cross-ice pass from Marcel Marcel. The goal was Cates’ fourth of the season.

Bjork would finish off the scoring when he netted his sixth at the 15:12 mark to seal the deal on the victory. The 28-save night for Weeks gives the 22-year old two victories in two chances this season.

High on the Hog

— Bjork scored twice and was the No. 1 star of the game on Saturday. The Mequon, Wisconsin, native continues to show a nice offensive touch at the AHL with 19 points in 23 games with Rockford this season. With the injury mess going on in Chicago, Bjork should not go too far from his phone, as he could get an NHL contract and call-up to the parent club.

— Weeks has been a nice surprise with two victories in two contests, giving up three goals in each contest. Weeks is showing early on that he can make some big saves as he continues to gain confidence as a prospect who does not get talked about much. It will be interesting to see how the three-headed monster in Rockford is used as Commesso, Weeks and Jaxson Stauber can all win on any given night.

Upcoming week

Rockford plays two more road games on Friday and Saturday as the Grand Rapids Griffins welcome the IceHogs in the Van Andel Arena. Both games are scheduled for 6 p.m. CST puck drops.

Leave a Reply