By Chris Block
Coming home from a 4-game, 9-day road trip in which they collected five of a possible eight points, the Rockford IceHogs met a stiff challenge in MidWest Division rival Chicago Wolves on Saturday night.
The game was to include a subplot of the two Broadhurst brothers facing off for the first time in a regular season game, but that didn’t come to be as Alex Broadhurst was scratched from the IceHogs’ lineup on Saturday.
A crowd of 4,422 at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford saw the visitor’s light the scoreboard in the game’s first minute, but a strong, quick response from the IceHogs soon followed.
More of that resolve was needed later, as the IceHogs scored a goal in the last minute of the second period to tie the game, then Brandon Mashinter potted a rebound in the third period in what would stand as the game-winning goal as the IceHogs took the first meeting of the annual Illinois Lottery Cup by a 4-3 score.
“I thought we played as close to a 60 minute game as we have all season,” IceHogs coach Ted Dent said after his team’s 3rd win of the young season. “I was really happy with the effort.”
Four different IceHogs scored goals. Dennis Rasmussen, Phillip Danault, Klas Dahlbeck and Mashinter all lit the lamp. The Wolves got goals from Philip McRae, Sebastian Wannstrom and former Blackhawk/IceHogs center, Colin Fraser.
The Wolves wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. Philip McRae, who was a healthy scratch in Chicago’s game 24 hours prior, beat Michael Leighton with a shot at the 55 second mark. Pat Cannone and Shane Harper assisted.
Rockford answered with a strike of their own two and a half minutes later when Dennis Rasmussen stepped between the top of the circles and snapped off a wrister that beat Jordan Binnington. The unassisted goal was Rasmussen’s first as an IceHog and in North America.
Phillip Danault capped off a nice sequence with his first goal of the season six minutes later to give Rockford a 2-1 lead. Mark McNeill gained Chicago’s blue line and fed a streak Peter Regin on the left side. Regin handled the pass, but was in too tight to get a good chance off. Regin sent the puck to Danault, who was converging at the side of Binnington’s net. Looking at an open side, Danault made no mistake at 9:38.
Chicago countered three minutes after Rockford gained the lead by capitalizing on a loose puck in the IceHogs’ crease. Sebastian Wannstrom pounced on a loose puck that was underneath a fallen Adam Clendening to tie the game at 12:52.
Rockford received three consecutive power plays in the second period but couldn’t convert any of those.
Seventeen minutes into the sandwich stanza, Brent Sopel started a rush out of the Wolves’ end. Sopel aborted the rush when Chicago gained the IceHogs’ blue line. The puck went deep and Colin Fraser eventually potted his 3rd goal of the young campaign. Cody Beach and Chris Butler assisted at 16:58, regaining the contest’s advantage.
But moments before the period ended, Ryan Hartman settled a bouncing puck and dished back to Klas Dahlbeck, whose blast from just inside the right circle beat Binnington’s glove hand at 19:24.
After 40 minutes, the game was tied. All six IceHogs games to this point have been tied heading into the third period. Their record was 2-2-0-1 prior to Saturday’s contest.
In the third, the teams traded chances but the game remained tied until Brandon Mashinter drove to the net to find a rebound at the 8:53 mark. Mashinter found the puck at his feet after Adam Clendening had stickhandled down the right side and put a shot on Binnington. Mark McNeill picked up the other assist, his second of the night.
The Wolves put the heat on late, but Michael Leighton secured the win, his first of the season. He stopped 29 shots.
Danault had a chance to seal the win with a minute left when he brought the puck down on a two-on-one facing an empty Wolves’ net. But Danault elected to be unselfish and try a pass across to McNeill, which was broken up.
“Yes. I would,” Danault said when asked if he would have chosen to shoot if he had to do it over again. “That was a mistake and I won’t do it again, for sure. I will shoot it next time. My bad.”
Neither team was able to covert an opportunity on the power play on this night. Chicago going 0-2 and the IceHogs, 0-3.
Rockford (3-1-2-0) face off with Lake Erie on Sunday. Then they travel on Wednesday to Grand Rapids. They’ll continue from there to San Antonio for a back-to-back set this weekend, Friday and Saturday against the Rampage.
—Stephen Johns and Cody Beach dropped the gloves in the second period, moments after Beach stepped out of the box for starting something with the a couple IceHogs. Johns requested this dance. He did land a big uppercut, Johns did. That seemed to stun Beach and nothing really happened after that, though the refs let them tug and push for another ten seconds or so.
–Halfway through the game I was thinking to myself that Teravainen was not having a good night at all. Five seconds later he was lagging behind the play and got sprung for a breakaway. It was blockered aside by Jordan Binnington. On this night, Teravainen was just a guy. Nothing more. Everyone’s allowed an off night. But Teuvo needs to be better.
–After the game Ted Dent indicated that he’d go back to Michael Leighton for Sunday’s 4pm game versus Lake Erie. Ville Pokka (upper body) is also likely to play and make his Rockford IceHogs debut.
–Couple more Ted Dent quotes from the post-game media scrum
On Danault’s night:
“I thought he played well. He was really good on faceoffs. Which is a big importance for us recently, we’re making it a focus of the team here.”
Unsolicited comments on Peirre-Cedric Labrie:
“I thought Labrie had a phenomenal game tonight. I thought he was all over the ice. He was on the puck. He probably had 3-4 hits his first shift.”
–Rockford and Chicago will see each other three times in seven days in late November: Sunday November 23rd at Allstate Arena. Friday Nov 28 in Rockford. Saturday Nov 29 at Allstate Arena.
–Ted Dent’s lines, pairings & scratches and specials on 10/25
26-Garret Ross / 21-Teuvo Teravainen / 23-Joakim Nordstrom
11-Peter Regin / 18-Phillip Danault / 28-Mark McNeill
53-Brandon Mashinter / 12-Dennis Rasmussen / 24-Ryan Hartman
27-Matt Carey / 14-Drew LeBlanc / 22-Peirre-Cedric Labrie
15-Kyle Cumiskey / 2-Adam Clendening
8-Viktor Svedberg / 10-Klas Dahlbeck
7-T.J. Brennan / 4-Stephen Johns
49-Michael Leighton (starter)
Scratches: D-3-Zach Miskovic… RW-16-Cody Bass (mid body)… C-25-Alex Broadhurst…. D-29-Ville Pokka (upper body)… LW-38-Ryan Schnell (finger of the body)….
Power play I: Ross-Teravainen-Nordstrom w/Brennan & Clendening
Power play II: Regin-LeBlanc-McNeill w/ Cumiskey & Johns
–Chicago Wolves lines, pairings & scratches
10-Philip McRae / 12-Pat Cannone / 9-Shane Harper
8-Ty Rattie / 49-Gergo Nagy / 37-Terry Broadhurst
18-Yannick Veilleux / 24-Colin Fraser / 20-Cody Beach
15-Jeremy Welsh / 27-Rob Bordson / 38-Sebastian Wannstrom
4-Petteri Lindbohm / 55-Brent Sopel
5-Mathieu Brodeur / 28-Brent Regner
42-Jake Chelios / 25-Chris Butler
30-Jordan Binnington (starter)
Scratches: D-6-Jani Hakanpaa… D-7-David Shields… LW-17-John McCarthy…