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Week 13 recap: IceHogs take two of three vs division rivals

by Rockford IceHogs / Chicago Blackhawks
The IceHogs celebrate an ovetime win against the Milwaukee Admirals. (Photo courtesy of Rockford IceHogs)

After dropping down to second place in the Central Division, the IceHogs had their sights set on ending 2015 and beginning 2016 on a high note. Rockford out-scored their opponents eight-to-six, and were able to defeat Milwaukee in extra time for the first out of four opportunities this season.

Week 13 Results:
Wednesday, December 30: Chicago 2 vs. Rockford 5
Saturday, January 2: Rockford 0 at Chicago 2
Sunday, January 3: Milwaukee 2 vs. Rockford 3 (OT)

Bacon Bits:

  • Rockford scored a season-high five goals on home ice when they knocked off their intrastate rival Chicago Wolves on Wednesday

  • Five different IceHogs skaters registered a multi-point game in Wednesday’s 5-2 victory over Chicago

  • Ryan Haggerty (2g-1a) and Jake Dowell (1g-2a) led the way with three points each

  • Dowell finished the week with a +2 plus/minus rating to increase his season rating to a team-best +20

  • Dowell’s efficiency rating (+20) ranks third in the AHL behind only Toronto’s Andrew Campbell (+22) and Rinat Valiev (+21)

  • The IceHogs were shutout for just the second time this season on Saturday

  • Rockford and Chicago exchanged wins on home ice in a home-and-home set during Week 13

  • The home team has won in all five Illinois Lottery Cup matchups this season

  • Sunday’s overtime win over Milwaukee is the fourth time in eight games with the Admirals this season to extend past regulation in order to determine the outcome

  • It was the first that Rockford was on the winning side as the Admirals took the three previous meetings that required more than 60 minutes

  • Rockford converted on their first power play over their last 21 tries when P.C. Labrie lit the lamp on Sunday

  • Labrie added the overtime winner to become the first IceHogs skater to register two multi-goal games this season

  • After outshooting the Admirals on Sunday (38-26), the IceHogs have outshot their opponents in six-straight contests

  • Defenseman Ville Pokka notched the primary assist on all three of Rockford’s goals on Sunday to record his first three-point night and third multi-point outing of the season

  • The three helpers in a game ties Erik Gustafsson’s season-high mark set on 12/2/15 at Texas

  • Goalie Michael Leighton faced the team’s first penalty shot of the season when Matt White converted in the second period on Sunday

  • It marked just the third time during the team’s AHL era and fifth in franchise history that a penalty shot has been scored against the IceHogs

  • The last goal allowed on a penalty shot came on 4/10/13 when Peoria’s Andrew Murray beat Henrik Karlsson

  • IceHogs all-time leading goal scorer, Jeremy Morin, was traded by the Blackhawks to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday in exchange for winger Richard Panik

  • Sunday’s game was played in front of another near sell-out crowd at the BMO Harris Bank Center

  • The game marked the third-straight crowd of over 5,450, including Wednesday’s sell-out of 6,053

Hot Hog: Week 13
Defenseman Ville Pokka helped Rockford get back on track with two wins over their division rivals in Week 13. Pokka began the week with a helper and a +2 plus/minus rating in the IceHogs 5-2 victory over Chicago on Dec. 30. After the IceHogs were shutout in their next matchup, Pokka responded with his best performance of the season, recording three primary assists to help Rockford defeat the Central Division-leading Milwaukee Admirals in overtime. The 21 year-old paces all Rockford defensemen and ranks 10th among all AHL blueliners with 20 points (5g-15a) this season.

Upcoming Games:
Sunday, January 10 at Iowa Wild: Puck drop is set for 5 p.m. The IceHogs head to Des Moines two weeks after dropping their first game against the Wild this season on Dec. 27. Rockford currently leads the series against Iowa 6-1-0-0.

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