Rockford, IL (WTVO/WQRF)– Forward Evan Barratt scored his first professional goal and goalie Cale Morris records his first professional win to help the Rockford IceHogs to a 3-2 comeback victory over the Cleveland Monsters at BMO Harris Bank Center Tuesday evening. The victory snaps the IceHogs’ season-opening six-game winless skid.
In his first professional start, IceHogs goaltender Cale Morris (W, 35 saves on 37 shots) stood tall in the opening period, denying all 13 Monsters shots to keep the contest scoreless after 20 minutes of play. The IceHogs registered six shots on Monsters keeper Veini Vehvilainen (L, 21 saves on 24 shots).
Former IceHogs captain and Monsters forward Tyler Sikura opened the scoring on the power play at 6:26 of the second frame, banking a pass off a Hogs defenseman and past Morris for his first tally of the season. Late in the period, Barratt evened the contest with his first professional marker off a faceoff win at 15:52 with help from forward Tim Soderlund and defenseman Isaak Phillips.
The two sides continued to trade chances in the third period before Cleveland’s Evan Polei caught a bounce at 12:27 to reclaim the lead and make it 2-1. Pushing forward, the IceHogs locked up the score again as forward Andrei Altybarmakyan powered in his first goal of the season with 3:23 left to swing the momentum back over to the home club. With 93 seconds remaining, Barratt found Phillips at the left point to rifle in the game-winning marker and complete the comeback victory.
The IceHogs finished the contests 0-for-1 on the power play while the Griffins went 1-for-3.