The comeback came after Rockford took an early 2-0 lead only to see it evaporate as Nicklas Jensen completed a second period natural hat trick. The last three tilts for Rockford has resulted in 19 goals scored, an average of 6.3 goals per game and all three wins. The IceHogs have won six of their last seven contests overall.
With just 2:41 remaining in regulation, the IceHogs were trailing 4-3 and received a late power play. Joakim Nordstrom fired the puck at the net where Brandon Pirri found it and sent the puck to Garret Ross who guided it past the pad of Joacim Eriksson for the wrap-around, game-tying goal that sent the contest to overtime.
Connecting for the second time on the night, Terry Broadhurst and his brother, Alex Broadhurst, took off on a 2-on-1 break in the extra session. The elder Broadhurst, Terry, found Alex on the right wing where he fired home the game-winner to complete the IceHogs comeback.
The IceHogs would break the scoring open in the first period as Pirri found his way into the right face-off circle and fired the puck past Eriksson on the short side at 5:33 for the game’s first goal.
The Broadhurst brothers combined to extend the Rockford lead to 2-0 at 2:56 of the second. Terry Broadhurst found Alex Broadhurst heading toward the net and Alex Broadhurst snuck past his defender to send a backhanded shot top shelf and past Eriksson.
Utica wouldn’t let the two-goal lead stand for long as Brandon DeFazio collected the puck behind the Rockford net and found Darren Archibald in the slot. Archibald flicked the puck past Jason LaBarbera for his 10th goal of the year. The tally came just 33 seconds after Alex Broadhurst’s goal and set the score at 2-1.
Taking sole-possession of the IceHogs team-lead in goals, Jeremy Morin fired a cannon blast from outside the right circle after Alex Broadhurst poked the puck to Brandon Mashinter from a face-off. Mashinter found the winger with no one between him and Eriksson. The marker was Morin’s fourth goal in less than 24 hours and made it a 3-1 contest.
The tilt would be brought back within one as the Comets took advantage of a bouncing puck. Jensen collected the puck and sent a wrister past LaBarbera for Utica’s second goal and a 3-2 score at 11:25 of the sandwich frame.
Tying the game at three, Jensen buried his second goal of the night as he got a piece of a Patrick Mullen blast from the blue line. The 4-on-4 marker with 6:31 left in the second period gave Jensen, Mullen and Henrik Tommernes two points each on the night.
Jensen wouldn’t sit at two goals for long as he completed the natural hat trick in 5:40 of ice time with 2:55 left in the second period. The Herning, Denmark native skated to the slot where former-IceHog Pascal Pelletier found him and he rifled his hat trick marker over the shoulder of LaBarbera to take a 4-3 lead.
LaBarbera earned the win making 29 saves while Eriksson was saddled with the OT loss after turning away 32 Rockford shots.
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