First off a few notes on Rockford from the weekend. The IceHogs dropped both games in San Antonio against the Coyotes’ farm team Thursday and Friday. I’ll have more details later today after I have a chance to watch Thursday’s game.
Thursday was reported to be a lackluster affair. Rockford lost 1-0. Alec Richards stopped 37 shots in the loss.
Friday, which I have seen, wasn’t much different until the final twenty minutes. The IceHogs entered the third period down 3-1 after giving up three even-strength goals (though one effectively was a power play tally – more on that in a moment) but were unable to overcome the whole they dug in the middle frame.
The story of Friday’s game was head coach Bill Peters‘ decision to bench Kyle Beach for the entire third period. Beach took two penalties in the second period. The first, a roughing minor after a whistle aside the San Antonio goal. Beach had tried a wrap-around attempt but was thwarted by Chicago product Al Montoya. With Beach whacking away for a potential rebound, he was aggressively shoved away by a Rampage defender. Beach, unhappy with this, came back swinging and punched (glove on) the San Antonio player twice in the mouth. Later in the period Beach was given an unsportsmanlike minor for saying too much as it appeared. Just as that penalty expired and Beach was stepping out of the box, Mathieu Beaudoin scored to give his team a 2-1 lead. Beach did not see the ice after that.
Whatever the motivation, Rockford came out for the third period a newly inspired bunch and carried the play for the most part. Nick Leddy fired a slap shot through traffic and past a Hugh Jessiman screen to trim the deficit to 3-2 three minutes and twenty seconds into the period. But the Hogs couldn’t solve Montoya again despite 14 third period shots and a late 6 on 4 power play with Alec Richards pulled from his net. Continue reading »