By Jim Hagerty
The Rockford IceHogs were forced to reckon with a pesky Lake Erie squad but managed to skate by the Monsters 5-2 in American Hockey League action Sunday at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
Rockford’s Adam Clendening started the scoring at 14:50 of the first when he cut through the Lake Erie defense and buried a wrist shot past goaltender Calvin Pickard. That would be all the scoring until the second period. Rockford lit the lamp at 9:32 when Dennis Rasmussen redirected a go-ahead pass from Ryan Hartman to make it 2-0.
Lake Erie’s Maxim Noreau slapped in a bouncing puck on a busy play in front of Michael Leighton at 14:41. Andrew Agozzino tied it two minutes later on a unassisted tally, sending the teams into the second break tied at two goals apiece.
IceHogs winger Matt Carey scored what would be the game-winner at 2:51 of the third, drilling a shot over Pickard’s left shoulder to make it 3-2.
Rockford added insurance when Kyle Cumiskey took a breakout pass from Garret Ross down the left side into the Lake Erie zone where he found Ryan Hartman, who put home his second of the year. An empty netter by Mark McNeill made it 5-2. Cumiskey had three assists for Rockford.
The IceHogs (4-2-0-2) travel to Grand Rapids Wednesday, Oct. 29, for the first of three away games. Rockford is back at the BMO Harris Bank Center Tuesday, Nov. 4, against Lake Erie.
For an in-depth recap of this week’s games, photos and highlights, see Todd Reicher’s “Tales from the Trough,” every Wednesday in the digital and print edition of The Rock River Times.