By Chris Block
Once night removed from a 6-1 clobbering at the hands of the Chicago Wolves in their first preseason game, the Rockford IceHogs returned home to clip the Milwaukee Admirals 3-2 in a shootout victory.
In the end, the three deciding IceHogs’ goals all came off sticks of players who played or finished last season with the Blackhawks.
Carter Hutton started the game for Rockford and gave up a deflating goal against to Milwaukee’s Jani Lajunen at 7:30 of the period. The goal defined the first period for the IceHogs. Lajunen picked up a puck along the goal line to Hutton’s left and tossed a weak backhand attempt toward the Rockford goaltender. Hutton was a couple feet off the post and was caught off guard by the shot, which hit him in the left pad and trickled over the goal line to give the Admirals the early lead.
The period as a whole was largely forgettable for the IceHogs. With 11 players seeing their first game action of the preseason, nearly everyone seemed sluggish and the team was out of synch.
With four and a half minutes left in the first period, Daniel Bang (apparently pronounced “Bong” So, Dan Bong-banged in the rebound. Okay, I’m done.) scored a power play tally for Milwaukee when he picked up a rebound and beat Hutton to give the Admirals a 2-0 lead. A hooking penalty to Brandon Pirri had sent Milwaukee to the power play. Marcus Kruger and Jimmy Hayes were sent out kill the first portion of Pirri’s penalty. But the trouble began when Kruger was kicked out of the circle on the defensive zone draw. Hayes then came in and lost the draw, pinning Rockford against it in their own zone.