It was another unbeaten weekend for the Rockford IceHogs and the result was they got to spend a few hours in first place of the West Division.
On Friday night, they beat their intra-state rival, the Peoria Rivermen, 4-2 at the Rockford MetroCentre. After a scoreless 1st period, Jack Skille scored the game’s opening goal five minutes into the second with assists from Kyle Greentree and Richard Petiot. Peoria tied the game at the 16 minute mark, but Greentree scored 45 seconds later to help Rockford re-take the lead. Skille and Bracken Kearns had assists. Two minutes later, the Rivermen scored again to cap a wild 2nd period.
Three minutes into the 3rd period, Jake Dowell scored his 5th goal of the season with help from Simon Danis-Pepin and Brian Connelly. Matt Keith clinched the win with an empty-net goal in the final minute of the game.
Corey Crawford was named 1st star of the game in making 27 saves.
Another note of interest from the game: With less than four minutes left in the game, Akim Aliu received a 10 minute misconduct and a game misconduct for arguing with referee Kyle Rehman.
On Saturday, the IceHogs continued their recent domination over the Grand Rapids Griffins. Rob Klinkhammer opened the scoring with his 8th goal of the season. Danny Bois and Richard Petiot had assists. After the Griffins tied the game with five seconds left in the first period, Akim Aliu put the IceHogs back on top in the second period. Bryan Bickell and Brian Connelly notched the helpers.
When the Griffins tied the score late in the third period, Aliu bailed out Rockford once again. This time, Aliu scored on a penalty shot with less than three minutes left to give the IceHogs the decisive goal in a 3-2 victory. He was awarded the penalty shot after being yanked down on a breakaway. It also marked the first multi-point game for Aliu this season.
Joseph Fallon got the start in net and stopped 31 of the 33 shots he faced.
—Shawn Lalonde didn’t have a point in Belleville’s 6-0 loss on Saturday.
–On Friday night, Kyle Beach scored two goals, assisted on an empty-net goal, and had a fight in the second period. Saturday, he scored two more goals, one on the power play and one short-handed.
–In two games this weekend, Byron Froese didn’t have a point.
—Dylan Olsen had no points and was a -2 in a weekend split with Wisconsin. Dan DeLisle played in both games and was a +1.
—Brandon Pirri had a goal and three assists this weekend as RPI lost on Friday night to Brown and beat Yale on Saturday.
—Billy Sweatt scored two goals and had two assists in Colorado College’s weekend split with St. Cloud State.