By Todd Reicher
Newly acquired goaltender Jeff Glass helped the Rockford IceHogs earn two road wins in week 15.
Glass’ first start in a Rockford IceHogs uniform ended in a 1-0 shutout for the veteran netminder on Wednesday, January 18 against the Lake Erie Monsters.
Rockford struck quickly exactly three minutes into the game to score the first, and only, goal of the contest.
Jake Dowell sprung Evan Mosey on a breakaway and the rookie from Downers Grove beat Anton Forsberg for his third goal of the season.
Only one penalty was given out in the first, a tripping penalty to Monsters winger Brett Gallant, but Rockford was unable to convert.
Each team would have two power play attempts in the middle frame, but both teams came up empty handed as Rockford carried the shot load with big 14-5 advantage.
The Monsters fought valiantly late in the third period, but Glass made some incredible saves, including one on former IceHogs skater Alex Broadhurst, to preserve the lead and seal a 1-0 victory.
Two days later, both teams met again for the second game of the back-to-back series, and this time it was Rockford who would be on the other end of the shutout.
After a scoreless first period which saw Rockford outshoot the Monsters 7-5, Blake Siebenaler scored his second of the season with 2:43 remaining in the second to give Cleveland their first lead of the series. Once again, Rockford outshot the Monsters by two shots, 11-9.
Cleveland would get the all-important second goal of the game when Broadhurst scored his eighth of the season at 13:31 for a 2-0 lead.
Similar to Cleveland the previous evening, Rockford would fight feverishly at the end of regulation, outshooting the Monsters 14-5 in the period, but Brad Thiessen and the Cleveland defense would hold Rockford scoreless as the Monsters beat Rockford 2-0.
The IceHogs continued their road trip by heading down to San Antonio to face the Rampage for another back-to-back series.
Rockford took the first lead of the game 12:16 into the first period when defenseman Gustav Forsling scored his first goal in an IceHogs uniform and his second North American goal to give Rockford the 1-0 lead. Rockford also held court in shots with an 11-7 advantage.
The start of the second period belonged to San Antonio as the Rampage tacked on two goals in a span of four minutes to give San Antonio the lead at 2-1. A Jim O’Brien goal at 2:10 and a Garry Nunn goal at 5:58 gave the home team the lead.
San Antonio’s lead only lasted for two minutes as Brandon Mashinter set up Sam Carrick with a beautiful cross-ice feed for a one-timer to even things up at 2-2. It was Carrick’s second point of the night as the winger assisted on Forsling’s first period goal.
Despite Rockford getting the lion’s share of the chances in the third, former IceHogs goaltender Kent Simpson kept the door shut, stopping all 13 third period chances for Rockford, keeping the score tied at 2-2.
We headed to overtime where Rockford continued to earn some good looks, but were unable to convert. San Antonio didn’t get their first shot on goal in the extra session until there were 15 seconds remaining in play, but it was the only shot they needed. Rocco Grimaldi scored on an odd-man rush for his 14th goal of the season to give the Rampage the extra point.
Glass played well in his third straight outing for Rockford, despite giving up three goals on 29 shots.
Rockford remains in San Antonio and will play the Rampage again on Wednesday. The team returns home for a back-to-back series against the Iowa Wild with a pair of games on Friday and Saturday.