The IceHogs finished a 3 in 3 weekend with a much needed Win on Sunday, March 20, 2016. After losing back-to-back games to the Wolves on Friday & Saturday, the ‘Hogs were against that proverbial wall come game time on Sunday afternoon. They have led the AHL Midwest Division for most of this season, but had recently dropped to 3rd place after several losses. The Win on Sunday was quite the nail biter of a game for sure. Hosting the Charlotte Checkers for the last time in Rockford, per the regular season schedule, the teams appear to be fairly evenly matched from their previous tilts.
The IceHogs were starting their backup goalie, Mac Carruth, in net for the game. A move that had some fans questioning the wisdom of that move. But, Drew MacIntyre had started for the games played on Friday & Saturday and needed a much deserved rest. The IceHogs #1 starting goalie, Michael Leighton, is currently recalled to the Chicago Blackhawks while Corey Crawford is out with a upper body injury. Truth be told, Carruth hasn’t had the best luck yet playing for the IceHogs, despite his stellar record in the ECHL. But, when the stars align and the goalie gods bless you with a great game, you run with it. Carruth had his great game on Sunday and here’s to hoping the good karma stays with him.
Both teams’ goalies were in their zones Sunday, stopping just about everything that was hit at them. The Checkers had John Muse in net for them. Regulation play ended with the score tied 1-1. Sudden Death Overtime ended with the score still tied. The Shootout went for a total of 13 rounds before the IceHogs secured the Win with a goal by Matt Fraser. Stars of the Game were #1 Mac Carruth, #2 John Muse, and #3 Bryan Bickell.
To the fans’ delight a fight broke out in the 2nd period, between the IceHogs current enforcer, Mike Liambas and a former IceHogs enforcer, Kyle Hagel. Hagel jumped to defend his teammate after he was hit into the boards by Liambas. Hagel earned himself 17 PIM’s for his actions, 2 minutes for instigating, 5 minutes for fighting and a 10 minute game misconduct. Liambas served 7 minutes for boarding and fighting PIM’s. The fight was ended by officials after several minutes when Liambas was able to pull Hagel’s jersey over his head. Hard to say who really won the fight, as they appeared to be evenly matched.
It was also the Annual Jersey Auction on Sunday, with the IceHogs Charitable Foundation raising just under $75,000 between the live Jersey Auction after the game and the Silent Auction that was going on during the game. This year’s theme was Star Wars. There were numerous Star Wars characters on hand that day to help celebrate the event. Highest Bid honors went to PC Labrie’s jersey, selling at $4,200.