Trouble with IceHogs Continues

Photos courtesy of Rockford IceHogs
Riding a franchise-best eight-game road win streak into Friday's contest in Rockford, the Lake Erie Monsters ran into an IceHogs team that has had their number this season. After giving up three goals in the second period, the Monsters fell to the Hogs 4-2, their third straight loss to Rockford and fourth in the six-game season series.

The loss began a three-in-three weekend that will wrap up the regular season for the Monsters before they make their first-ever appearance in the AHL Playoffs. Lake Erie is now 42-28-3-5 (92 points) and in third place in the North Division, one point behind Manitoba and two behind Hamilton. They still have a chance at finishing first, based on the outcome of this final weekend.

Rockford took the first lead in the game and would not relinquish it for the rest of the night. Rob Klinkhammer scored at 13:45 of the first period to put the IceHogs up 1-0. Jeff Taffe and Brian Connelly assisted.

Julian Talbot scored just in time, sneaking in a goal with 10 seconds left in the first to tie the score at 1-1. Ben Walter and Matt Generous were credited with the helpers. Walter has points in four straight games and in 20 of the last 22 (6g, 25a).

Rockford outshot Lake Erie 13-8 in the opening frame.

The IceHogs showed their firepower in the second period, scoring three goals in 16 minutes. Brandon Pirri lit the lamp just 1:08 into the second off an assist from Klinkhammer, giving the IceHogs a 2-1 advantage.

At 7:43 Peter LeBlanc converted, putting Rockford ahead by a 3-1 score. Mathis Limb and Shawn Lalonde assisted.

Connelly would finish Rockford's scoring for the night with a power play marker at 17:16 of the middle frame.

The period ended with the IceHogs leading 4-1 after outshooting the Monsters 15-11 in the second.

Matt Ford pulled the Monsters closer with his shorthanded goal early in the third period. Maury Edwards and Steve Oleksy assisted at 4:41, bringing the Rockford lead to 4-2. For Edwards it was his first point as a professional.

Although Lake Erie was able to outshoot the IceHogs 9-7 in the third period, they were not able to capitalize, ending the night with the 4-2 loss.

John Grahame posted 31 saves on 35 shots for the Monsters, while his Rockford counterpart Hannu Toivonen stopped 26 of 28.

The Monsters will return home on Saturday to host Abbotsford before heading to Rochester on Sunday to finish the season against the Americans.


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