ROCKFORD, Ill.-The Rockford IceHogs arrived in Manitoba in fourth place in the AHL’s Central Division. They left it in sixth.
Rockford lost two games in disappointing fashion, losing 7-2 on Thursday night before letting a Saturday matinee get away from them. The Moose rallied to beat the IceHogs 5-3, sending Rockford to its third-straight defeat.
The IceHogs were able to skate with Manitoba early in both contests. However, Rockford had no answer for the Moose as the games progressed. Manitoba broke open a 2-2 game on Thursday with five unanswered goals. On Saturday, the Moose rallied from a two-goal deficit late in the second period before pulling away with a pair of third-period strikes.
Rockford’s penalty kill has been top-notch of late but surrendered key goals in both defeats. Manitoba potted three goals in five chances on the man advantage.
Two power-play goals in the space of five minutes in the first and second periods paved the way for the Moose on Thursday. Saturday afternoon saw Manitoba capitalizing on Hogs goalie Arvid Soderblom losing his stick in a collision with teammate Ryan Stanton. David Gustafsson sent a shot over Soderblom’s blocker, starting a sequence of four Moose goals over the next five minutes of game action.
- Rockford was outshot in both games. Collin Delia faced 46 shots on Thursday; Manitoba outshot the Hogs 17-5 in the third period. Rockford was outshot 23-11 in the first two periods with Soderblom in net on Saturday.
- The IceHogs sent 17 shots toward Moose goalie Mikhail Berdin, who stopped them all to pick up the win. Berdin was in net for Manitoba in both games.
- Manitoba’s Greg Meireles had a four-point weekend, with a goal and three helpers.
- Saturday’s defeat was tougher to stomach, in that the IceHogs led 2-0 and then 3-1 in the first two periods of the game. Rockford was really prone to giving up goals in bunches over the weekend.
- The IceHogs placed forward Chad Yetman into the concussion protocol Friday. He joins Dylan McLaughlin, who has been out of the lineup since suffering a concussion on February 20.
- Rockford forward Mike Hardman picked up his twelfth goal of the season on Thursday. An assist in Saturday’s loss has Hardman on a four-game point streak.
- Defenseman Alec Regula was reassigned to Rockford by the Chicago Blackhawks Thursday. Regula skated in both games in Manitoba.
- The IceHogs have a couple of days to stew about their three-game losing streak. Rockford is next in action Friday night when the Hogs visit Milwaukee. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CST.
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