The IceHogs came into their second and third games of their five game homestand on a roll after going 2-1-0-0 in their previous three games. They needed to keep it up and snag some more wins at home in this crucial part of the season to gain some ground on everyone in the conference.
Friday, November 25 vs Peoria – It didn’t take long for the Rivermen to hop on the board on Friday night. 33 seconds in, Phil McRae scored his tenth goal of the year from the right circle to give Peoria the early lead. Brett Sonne made it 2-0 for the Rivs 10:03 later. Peter LeBlanc got the ball rolling for the Hogs at 15:47 while they were on a power play. His wicked shot from the right circle was his fourth tally of the season. Brandon Pirri tied the game at 2 with 30 seconds left in the period. Peoria regained the lead at 11:27 of the second period with Shaun Heshka’s first goal of the year. Captain Brandon Segal struck back with 27 seconds left to make things even at 3. The Hogs wouldn’t look back after that. Brian Fahey gave them their first lead of the game at the 8:44 mark of the third period with his shot from the high slot. LeBlanc tallied his second of the night as he tipped in Ryan Stanton’s pass 1:07 later. Pirri added his second of the night at 13:11 and then Andrew Shaw got the empty net, shorthanded goal to seal the victory and make it 7-3 at 17:38.
-Rockford outshot Peoria 35-27.
-The IceHogs went 1-3 on the power play and Peoria went 1-5.
-LeBlanc registered a team high five shots on goal.
-Fahey and Stanton were both +4 on the night.
-Kyle Beach remained out with his shoulder injury. Byron Froese and Shawn Lalonde were the healthy scratches.
-The lines were the same as the game against San Antonio on November 23rd. With Lalonde out of the lineup, the defense pairings were:
Brian Connelly – Joe Lavin
Stanton – Fahey
Dylan Olsen – Ben Youds
-Alexander Salak started in net for the Hogs.
Saturday, November 26 vs Oklahoma City – Unlike Friday night, the first goal in this contest didn’t come until 1:06 of the second period. Unfortunately for Rockford, it came off the stick of Barons leading goal scorer Philippe Cornet. It was the lone goal of the period, but Cornet struck again at 2:41 of the third with his 15th on the year and second of the night. Connelly gave the Hogs a shot in the arm as he cut the lead to 2-1. His shot from just above the right circle found its way past Barons goalie David LeNeveu at 12:37. It was only Connelly’s second goal of the season. Any hope of a comeback was crushed with Ryan O’Marra’s empty net goal at 18:57 to make the score 3-1. With the victory, the Barons improved their record to 13-5-0-1.
-The Hogs outshot the Barons 31-28.
-Rockford went 1-6 on the power play. Oklahoma City went 1-2.
-Pirri and Rostislav Olesz both had a team high four shots on goal.
-The lineup was the same as Friday night.
-The Hogs’ record is now 8-10-1-0 (17 points).
–Monday, November 28 – Froese was reassigned to the Toledo Walleye.
-On Monday, December 5th, Rob Klinkhammer and Salak will be the guests on Hog Talk. Catch the show on 100.5 NTA FM, online at nta.fm, or in person at Granite City Food and Brewery in Rockford.
-Saturday’s game against Abbotsford is Teddy Bear Toss Night. After the Hogs score their first goal, fans that bring a stuffed animal to the game will be able to throw it onto the ice and they will be collected and given to local charities and hospitals in Rockford for kids needing a smile during the holidays.
-Friday, December 2 vs Lake Erie at 7:05 p.m.
-Saturday, December 3 vs Abbotsford at 7:05 p.m.
-Sunday, December 4 at Peoria at 5:00 p.m.