Rockford, Ill. – Behind 3-1 and nearing the second intermission, the Rockford IceHogs power-play unit triggered a come-from-behind victory over the visiting Lake Erie Monsters as they pulled out a triumphant 6-3 victory on Saturday at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
After fighting off four penalties throughout the second period, and trailing 3-1, Rockford began the comeback six seconds into their own power play late in the frame. Adam Clendening one-timed a shot through traffic and then through Pickard’s five-hole for his first professional goal off of a Brandon Pirri face-off win.
Nearly five minutes into the third period, the Hogs found themselves on the power play for the fourth time. Shawn Lalonde tied the game up at three a piece when he ripped a Kyle Beach rebound into the back of the net for his first of the season. Jimmy Hayes added an assist on the play as well.
Halfway through the period, on yet another power play, Pirri tipped-in the third IceHogs man advantage goal of the evening from a Lebda shot from the point. It marked Lebda’s third helper on the night.
Moments later, Beach wristed in his fourth goal of the season off a face-off win by Martin St. Pierre, increasing the Hogs lead to 5-3. Rob Flick notched his second assist of the season as well.
At the 12:21 mark, Jeremy Morin snagged a Marcus Kruger pass, skated around Pickard and slipped the puck into the net in a diving effort to widen the margin to 6-3. It capped a spurt of three IceHogs goals in 3:30.
Brandon Bollig opened the scoring halfway through the first period when he finished off a Beach shot to beat Lake Erie goaltender Calvin Pickard for his second goal of the season at the 9:06 mark. Lebda added his first assist on the season and first in an IceHogs sweater.
Lake Erie answered the call with three-straight markers, starting with a Scott Walker pass from behind the net to Andrew Agozzino, who tied the game up at 1-1 with 6:12 remaining in the first period. David Van der Gulik also helped on the play.
The Monsters took the lead a minute and a half later when Bill Thomas went upstairs on IceHogs goaltender Carter Hutton for his third goal of the season. Brad Malone and Mark Olver added assists on the goal.
The scoring didn’t stop there as Tyson Barrie sniped another past Hutton to pad Lake Erie’s lead to 3-1. Malone added his second assist in the period while Thomas Pock recorded his team-leading seventh assist on the campaign.
Hutton finished the night with 22 saves after letting up three Lake Erie goals on the first 14 shots in the first period.
Rockford racked up a season-high penalty total of 88 minutes on the night and had three players, Brandon Bollig, Wade Brookbank and Andrew Shaw, along with assistant coach Ben Simon, kicked out of the game at the end of the second period after a ruckus in the Lake Erie zone.
The Monsters Patrick Bordelueau was also given a game misconduct for the incident which totaled 82 minutes combined for both teams. Lake Erie had 42 PIMs for the game overall and finished 0-8 on the power play while Rockford was 3-6.