By Chris Block
The Rockford IceHogs began the 2013-14 regular season on Saturday night with a porous performance in San Antonio, Texas.
A re-stocked group of young IceHogs led by now AHL veterans Brandon Pirri, Jeremy Morin and Dylan Olsen committed one careless turnover after another in route to a 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers minor league affiliate.
The loss was also costly in that the IceHogs lost two players to injury.
Annti Raanta left the game at the 5:36 mark of the first period. Raanta had taken an Eric Selleck 12-foot one-time attempt off the inside of his left knee at the 2:58 mark of the first. Raanta smothered Selleck’s shot, but crumpled to the ice in obvious discomfort, favoring his left leg. After consulting with IceHogs’ trainer D.J. Jones, Raanta opted to stay in the game. He would stop one more San Antonio shot before deciding he couldn’t continue and Kent Simpson entered the contest with 14:24 to go in the opening period.