Tales from the Trough: IceHogs leading the way in Central

By Todd Reicher
Columnist

The Rockford IceHogs finally took a game from the Milwaukee Admirals and lost in overtime to the Wolves to go 1-0-1 in week 11.

Friday, Rockford played the Ads on the road at the BMO Harris Bradley Center and scored a lopsided 6-2 victory. After a scoreless first period, the ‘Hog unloaded for six goals in the final two periods, highlighted by P.C. Labrie’s three-point night.

The veteran winger first tied the score at 1-1 after Kevin Fiala scored for Milwaukee, then tallied an assist nine seconds later when Vinnie Hinostroza potted his first of the season.

Rockford wasn’t done scoring in the middle frame as Marko Dano scored on the power play with 3:19 left.

Labrie put in his second goal of the game 20 seconds into the third period to put Rockford up 4-1.

Just 1:04 later, Milwaukee cut into the Rockford lead with defenseman Trevor Murphy earning his fifth of the season.

As the third period was winding down, Mark McNeill, making his return to the lineup after being out for a month, put an exclamation point on the game with a shorthanded goal to give Rockford a 5-2 lead.

An empty-netter by Jeremy Morin with 2:57 left to play capped the scoring for the game as Rockford finally managed to break one open against the Ads.

In a scary moment earlier in the game, Ryan Hartman took a puck to the face while blocking a shot. The winger, however, was able to play the following night when the ‘Hogs headed over to Rosemont to face the Wolves.

It was Chicago’s power play that was the deciding factor as the Wolves finished 3-for-7 with the extra skater to Rockford’s 0-for-3.

The Wolves tallied first on a Jordan Caron goal 9:20 into the game on their first power play to open the scoring.

Chicago’s lead only lasted nine seconds as Morin tallied his eighth of the season to even things up at 1-1.

It was Chicago’s second power play at 12:31 that the Wolves took the lead back on Jordan Hayes fourth goal.

There would be no scoring in the second period, but plenty of penalties, including a slew of misconduct penalties and a fighting major. Rockford also held the shots advantage, 9-4 in the second frame.

Chicago broke it open early with Noah Welsh earning his eighth of the season 1:02 into the third to give Chicago a 3-1 advantage.

Exactly one minute later, Cameron Schilling earned his first goal in an IceHogs sweater assisted by Kiril Gotovets and Hartman.

With time winding down, and the Wolves on the power play, the IceHogs Erik Gustafsson tallied his third of the season with Rockford’s second shorthanded goal in as many nights. Once again, McNeill factored into the shorty, which tied the game at 3-3.

Overtime would end at 3:55 when Zach O’Brien scored his third of the season to give Chicago a 4-3 win.

Monday night the Admirals came to town and turned the tables on the IceHogs, with Milwaukee winning 6-2.

Rockford will finish up 2015 with two of three games at home, one of them against the Ads. Milwaukee will return to Rockford to play on Saturday at 7 p.m.

The IceHogs will turn around and head to Iowa for a Sunday game against the Wild before returning back to Rockford to end 2015 with a home game against the Wolves on Wednesday, December 30.

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