The Rockford IceHogs (0-5-1-0) fell to the Cleveland Monsters (1-2-1-0) on Monday night after giving up six goals in the first two periods.
The first period was a wild one at BMO Harris Bank Center. Cleveland scored three goals in a matter of 1:58 to take a 3-0 lead. Zac Dalpe fired home his second goal of the season from Tyler Sikura and Wyatt Newpower. Just 11 ticks later, Dalpe got his second of the game from Sikura and Trey Fix-Wolansky. Carson Meyer added salt to the wound with his first AHL goal. Rockford would bounce back, though. After Cole Moberg took a penalty to leave the Hogs shorthanded, Chris Wilkie put Rockford on the board from Mitchell Fossier to make it 3-1 visitors. Later in the period, Rockford cut the lead in half when Brad Morrison lit the lamp off a feed from MacKenzie Entwistle. It was 3-2 Cleveland after 20 minutes.
The Monsters got right back to where they left off in the previous frame. Another three-goal period began with Fix-Wolansky earning his second of the season from Nathan Gerbe and Dillon Simpson to double the Cleveland lead. The outpour of goals continued when Meyer tallied his second of the game from Justin Scott to make it 5-2. Later in the period, Cleveland was penalized for a delay of game, but they capitalized shorthanded. Justin Scott deked and scored on a breakaway to extend the Monsters’ lead to 6-2.
Rockford had a new look between the pipes to begin the final period as Notre Dame alum Cale Morris made his AHL debut, subbing in for Matt Tomkins. In the blink of an eye, Fossier added to his assist with his first professional goal just nine seconds into the period to make it 6-3 Monsters. Just under three minutes to go, Cleveland found themselves on the man advantage again. Nathan Gerbe scored the team’s seventh goal right off the face-off from Fix-Wolansky and Simpson. Morris, despite the power play goal, looked poised in net for the IceHogs. The rookie made a few big saves and helped kill off a 5-on-3 for a full two minutes.
The IceHogs power play slump continued with their few chances gone by the wayside in this contest. Another slow start for the club put them in another comeback position and put a lot of pressure on the entire team to claw back. The frustrations continue to show themselves as the Hogs still look for that first win of the season.
Rockford and Cleveland will play three more times this week. One more at the BMO and the other two will be in Ohio on Saturday and Sunday. Puck drop is set for 6:00 PM CT on Tuesday night.