On Saturday, the Rockford IceHogs welcomed in the Lake Erie Monsters to the Rockford MetroCentre. In the previous three times Lake Erie visited Rockford, they walked out with a win. The fourth time was the charm for the IceHogs.
On ‘Teddy Bear Toss Night’, the hosts’ didn’t make the home crowd wait long to put them into action. Four and a half minutes into the affair, Daryl Boyle scored his second goal of the season with assists from Mark Cullen and Peter MacArthur. The ice instantly became littered with stuffed animals that fans brought to be donated to charity.
In the second period, Bryan Bickell scored his sixth goal of the season with assists from MacAruthur and Richard Petiot.
Kyle Greentree gave Rockford a 3-0 lead four and a half minutes into the third period. Jack Skille and Bracken Kearns had the helpers. Two minutes later, Lake Erie scored to cut the lead to two. Greentree put the game away with under five minutes left when he scored on the power play. Skille and Cullen pitched in with the assists. Lake Erie scored with 15 seconds left in the game, but by then, the winner was obvious and Rockford had their fifth win in a row, 4-2.
Joseph Fallon was the winning goalie with 22 saves.
Sunday was a little different. The Manitoba Moose came into Rockford and after the first 20 minutes, they had a 1-0 lead. Halfway through the second period, things got a little of hand.
Newly acquired goalie Dan Cloutier was ejected as a result of receiving a match penalty for roughing. For good measure, Ryan Flinn also received roughing, fighting, and instigation penalties and a game misconduct for instigation. The penalties for Flinn alone put Manitoba on the always conventional nine-minute power play.
The Moose didn’t disappoint scoring twice during the nine minute frame and headed into the third period with a 3-0 lead.
In the third, the IceHogs got back into the game with a pair of power play goals of their own. Jack Skille scored twice within the first five minutes of the frame and Daryl Boyle assisted on both of his goals. Bracken Kearns and Brian Connelly also assisted on Skille’s goals.
The Moose scored another power play goal two minutes later and it was enough of a cushion to hang on for the win. Kyle Greentree extended his point streak to seven games with his seventh goal of the year with a minute left in the game. Skille and Boyle each had assists to tie for the team lead with 3 points. It wasn’t enough, though, and Rockford’s win streak was snapped with a 4-3 loss.
In all, the Hogs racked up a whopping 83 minutes in penalties on Sunday afternoon.
—Shawn Lalonde had an assist on the power play three minutes into Belleville’s Saturday tilt against the Owen Sound Attack. The Bulls didn’t have enough to keep up with the Attack, though, and ended up losing 5-3.
—Byron Froese was a +1, but was not a factor in Everett’s 3-2 loss to the Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday.
—Kyle Beach had two assists on the power play for Spokane and then scored the game-winning goal in the shootout to give the Chiefs a 5-4 win Sunday evening.
—Dylan Olsen capped off a wild win for the UMD Bulldogs by assisting on the game-winning goal in overtime. The Bulldogs entered the third period down 2-0 and scored goals in the first and last minutes of the frame to force the overtime. Dan DeLisle was not a factor.
—Brandon Pirri didn’t have a point in RPI’s 5-3 loss to Colgate.
–In the showdown for first place in the WCHA, Colorado College was down 4-2 to Denver heading into the third. They scored to cut the lead to one three minutes in, and then in a mad scramble with under 30 seconds left, a Denver defenseman pushed the net off the morrings as Colorado College was set to score the equalizing goal. As a result of the play, the Tigers were awarded a penalty shot and scored the tying goal to send the game to overtime. Neither team scored in the extra frame, so Denver came out of the weekend two points ahead in the standings.
Billy Sweatt didn’t have a point in the game, but did have a penalty.
–Finally, for those lucky enough to have ESPNU, they showed today’s Hockey East affair between the University of New Hampshire and Vermont. A pair of late-round Hawk draft picks faced each other in the game, 2006 7th round pick, Peter LeBlanc and 2009 6th round pick, David Pacan.
LeBlanc, a senior center, scored New Hampshire’s fourth goal of the game. He picked up a loose puck just inside his blue line after a Vermont defenseman pinched in too deep and blew past the covering forward. Coming in on a full blown 2-on-1, LeBlanc faked a shot at the hashmarks, froze the Vermont goalie, took the puck to the outside and buried it into the wide-open net.
Unfortunately, LeBlanc will probably have a hard time breaking into Rockford’s lineup someday, let alone the Hawks, due to his small stature. Listed as 5’10”, LeBlanc didn’t appear to be taller than 5’8″. It’s too bad because he’s a solid skater and a good face-off man.
Pacan, a freshman, didn’t have a ton of ice time. He did, however, smoke a New Hampshire forward at center ice with an open-ice hit. Pacan was in the penalty box serving a teammate’s 5-minute major and as his penalty was expiring, the New Hampshire forward was skating with his head down. At the last moment he picked up his head, but it was too late to avoid contact and Pacan sent him head over heels. If he didn’t pick up his head, it probably would’ve been rolling on the ice.
As a true freshman and only 18 years old, Pacan will be someone to keep an eye on. He has the size to become a force. He lacks great hands and his skating leaves a bit to be desired, but with four goals this season, he seems to have the knack for being in the right place at the right time.
And if Vermont forward Jack Downing isn’t drafted this year, then I know nothing about hockey scouts.