By Chris Block
Wednesday night’s 4-3 loss to the visiting Lake Erie Monsters played out like a tale of two teams for this season’s Rockford IceHogs.
After an opening period which saw the IceHogs pepper Lake Erie’s veteran goaltender, and Chicago area product, Gerald Coleman with 17 shots, but not many second chance opportunities, Rockford went into the first intermission with nothing to show for their efforts. The IceHogs then came out flat for the second period and quickly found themselves down 2-0 after some unfortunate turnovers. Despite dominating the first period, Rockford reverted to its October through mid-December form in letting game get away from them on home ice. By the midway point of the third Rockford was in a 4-1 hole. But then, the IceHogs of the month of January suddenly reappeared and put up a challenge. Dylan Olsen unleashed a howitzer of a one-timer to get his team within two goals with less than two minutes to play and a late Lake Erie penalty allowed Rockford to pull within one with 18 seconds to go.
This was the second consecutive game in which Rockford greatly outshot its opponent and lost. Last Friday in Rosemont, the IceHogs out shot the Wolves 32-18, but lost the contest 4-2. They were also down three goals with a minute left in that game.
On Wednesday night, Rockford out shot Lake Erie 17-7 in the first period. None of those chances better than when Rostislav Olesz blew by two defenseman, Cameron Gaunce and Stefan Elliott, then wristed his shot too high over the glove of Coleman, who just got a piece of Olesz’s attempt as well.