Lance Bouma, Henrik Samuelsson, Luc Snuggerud and Matthew Highmore combined for four goals in the first 4:25 of the third period to ignite the Rockford IceHogs’ 5-3 comeback victory over the San Jose Barracuda at the BMO Harris Bank Center Saturday night. Rockford treated a crowd of 5,786 to an offensive eruption on Hawaiian Night as the Hogs erased a two-goal deficit with four unanswered tallies.
With the win, the IceHogs have now won four consecutive contests and boast points in 14 of their last 17 games with a 12-3-1-1 record in that span. They now sit seven points clear of the playoff cutline with six games to play.
With the IceHogs down 3-1, Bouma redirected an Adam Clendening shot from the blue line 41 seconds into the stanza to get the Hogs within one and notch his fourth marker in his last five games. Just under two minutes later, Samuelsson found twine with a slick backhander from the side of the net for his fourth goal in the last five games as well.
Two more lamplighters just 11 seconds apart provided, then doubled, Rockford’s first lead of the affair. Snuggerud fired a bouncing shot past Barracuda netminder Stephon Williams for his first goal since Feb. 28, and Highmore followed with a deadly wrist shot that found room upstairs past Williams’ shoulder to stretch the gap to 5-3. Highmore has now nabbed a goal and an assist in two games since returning from the Chicago Blackhawks.
The contest began with a back-and-forth first period that saw both teams exchange tallies. San Jose gained an early advantage with Sam Warning’s second goal of the year at 7:49 of the period, but Clendening leveled the score with a bomb from the blue line for his first of two points in the contest. Clendening has now recorded goals in back-to-back contests for the first time this season, and leads all AHL defensemen in points (28) since joining the IceHogs.
The middle frame, however, belonged to the Barracuda. Former IceHogs forward Brandon Mashinter put the visitors ahead once more at 6:58, and Caleb Herbert doubled San Jose’s lead to 3-1 just over 30 seconds later, but Rockford’s furious comeback in the third period sealed its victory.
IceHogs goaltender Jeff Glass stopped 19 of 22 pucks to earn his fifth win in his last six starts, while Williams stonewalled 25 of 30 shots for San Jose.