ROCKFORD, IL – Defenseman Alec Regula provided assists on all four Rockford IceHogs (14-12-1-1) goals, but the Cleveland Monsters (12-10-4-1) held on for a 5-4 victory at BMO Harris Bank Center Saturday evening.
Regula’s four points ties the IceHogs’ season-high, single-game point production for a skater (Lukas Reichel 2G, 2A on Jan. 7 vs. CHI) and the club netted a season-high three power-play goals tonight, going 3-for-5 against the Monsters. The loss snaps the IceHogs’ winning streak at three games.
Monsters forward Brendan Gaunce began the game scoring 6:05 into the game, snapping in his team-leading 10th goal of the season past IceHogs goalie Collin Delia (L, 30 saves on 35 shots) from the left faceoff circle. The IceHogs responded moments later with forward Dmitri Osipov’s first goal of the season at 9:52 to make it 1-1. Late in the frame, the Monsters caught a turnover and Cole Fonstad completed a 2-on-1 with Gaunce at 16:58 to reclaim the lead for the Monsters.
The Monsters carried the momentum into the second period, tacked on three more goals and took a 5-2 lead into the intermission. Off the opening faceoff, Monsters forward Carson Meyer grabbed a shorthanded goal 11 seconds in to quickly make it 3-1. The IceHogs pushed back with a power-play goal from forward Mike Hardman, sneaking a shot under the pads of Monsters netminder Jet Greaves (W, 31 saves on 35 shots) at 5:16. Meyer (8:22) and forward Kevin Stenlund on the power play (18:44) added two more goals for the three-goal advantage.
Needing some comeback magic, the IceHogs showcased a strong push in the third period, rifling off a game-high 19 shots, and chipping away at the Monsters lead. Defenseman Nicoals Beaudin started the comeback on the man advantage at 4:48 and forward Dylan McLaughlin extended his personal point streak to four games (2G, 5A) with a 6-on-3 power-play blast at 17:33 to pull within one. With Delia on the bench for the extra attacker, the IceHogs muscled off a couple more shots in the final moments, but could not find the game tying goal. The Rockford IceHogs honor Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 17 against the Chicago Wolves at 1 p.m. at BMO Harris Bank Center.