The Rockford IceHogs looked to hit the ground running after the AHL’s Christmas break, but what happened was quite the opposite. The ‘Hogs lost all three of their matches in the week, extending their losing streak to six games.
Thursday, December 26th @ Iowa Wild
The NHL didn’t have any games on Boxing Day, but the AHL was a different story, with a busy schedule. The ‘Hogs gave up two goals early in the second, before Garret Ross brought Rockford back to within one. Iowa opened up the game with two more goals, followed by a Brandon Mashinter tally that cut the lead to two goals. Former IceHog Jake Dowell sealed the deal with an empty-netter, and Iowa took the game 5-2. Kent Simpson made 25 saves in the loss, while Adam Clendening had six shots and 2 PIMs.
Friday, December 27th vs. Grand Rapids Griffins
The IceHogs would hope that a home crowd might turn things around, as the defending Calder Cup champions paid a visit to the BMO Harris Bank Center. It would be early in the second period once again when Rockford surrendered the first goal, on a blast from Cory Emmerton. Jared Nightingale would even the score shortly after, but Grand Rapids would score one more to lead 2-1 after 40 minutes. Brandon Pirri scored early in the third to tie the game, but the Griffins pulled away, scoring on the powerplay with under five minutes to go, and adding an empty-net goal as an insurance marker in a 4-2 win. Mac Carruth made 26 saves in a losing effort, and Brandon Pirri was the game’s Second Star.
Monday, December 30th vs. Charlotte Checkers
The IceHogs remained at home for yet another meeting with the divisional rival Checkers, in the last game of 2013. This time, Rockford would strike first, with Pirri scoring for the second straight game. Two Checkers goals, one late in the first, and the other early in the second, gave the visitors the lead, before Brad Winchester tied the game on a power-play to start the third period. Charlotte would regain the lead just two minutes later, and Anton Khudobin fended off a massive push from the ‘Hogs, making 4-1 saves as the Checkers won 3-2. At the other end, Simpson was pulled after allowing the game-winning goal, and Mac Carruth made 14 saves in the remaining 18 minutes of the game. Brad Winchester took the Third Star for Rockford.
The past week was a busy one for Pat Mullane and Maxim Shulanov, who made the move to the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL on the 27th, only to be recalled on New Year’s day, rejoining the IceHogs. It was a relatively quiet week in the IceHogs’ front office, however, as those were the only roster moves made.
The ‘Hogs have one of their busiest weeks of the season in Week 13, with three straight games on the weekend (Iowa, Grand Rapids, Chicago), followed by a visit to the Griffins on Wednesday, and a home game against the Lake Erie Monsters on Friday, January 10th.
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