The Rockford IceHogs (15-5-1-2) got out to a strong start, putting home two goals in both the first and second periods to win their third-straight road game and knock off the San Antonio Rampage (11-5-6-0) by a 5-2 score at the AT&T Center on Sunday afternoon. Phillip Danault (1g-1a), P.C. Labrie (1g-1a) and Dennis Rasmussen (2a) all picked up two points in the game for the Hogs.
For the first time in three games against San Antonio, it was the the IceHogs who potted the first goal of the game. After good pressure in the attacking end, Nolan Valleau found Danault on the left side of the net and and Danault slammed home a one-time shot at 4:23 of the first.
San Antonio answered with their third power play goal in the last two games versus Rockford. Andrew Agozzino took a pass at the top of the left circle and quickly moved the puck to Maxim Noreau in the high slot. Noreau then faked a shot and moved a pass to Mikko Rantanen who one-timed it into the top right corner of the net.
Just 37 seconds later, Rockford restored their lead with a power play goal of their own. Garret Ross and Rasmussen combined to find Ville Pokka, and the Finnish-born defenseman skated the puck into the high-slot before a driving a slap shot off the post and into the back of the net. Rasmussen’s assist extended his point streak to six games.
Once again, the Rampage answered to even the score as Noreau found Colin Smith behind the IceHogs defense and Smith finished off the breakaway with 1:14 to go in the period, sending the game to second tied at 2-2.
Ryan Hartman kicked off the second period scoring at 4:29. Rasmussen deflected the puck behind the net, forcing it off the glass and to Hartman in front of the cage. Hartman settled down the bouncing puck and lifted a backhand shot over the shoulder of Calvin Pickard.
The IceHogs used their second power play of the game to double their lead. Viktor Svedberg drove a shot from the left point towards the cage, and Labrie deflected it through the pads of Pickard to the IceHogs up 4-2. It was originally ruled no goal due to being deflected by a high stick, but the referees gathered and reversed the call to give Labrie his fifth goal of the year.
Daniel Paille put the icing on the win when he tallied his first goal of the season with an empty net strike with 2:49 to play.
Michael Leighton (13-3-1-1) recorded his 13th win of the season while stopping 31 shots while Calvin Pickard (8-3-4-1) knocked aside 30 of 34 for San Antonio.