Rockford Newspaper -
ICEHOGS GRAB WIN IN OVERTIME
By Reed Schreck-RRSTAR.COM
Jan 19, 2009
ROCKFORD — The Rockford IceHogs appreciated Monday’s matinee 2-1 overtime victory over Grand Rapids for various reasons.
“The homestand could have been a little ugly, coming in 2-3,” said head coach Bill Peters of his team’s season-long, six-game homestand that ended 3-3 and on an upbeat note.
“We moved up from fifth place to second,” was team president Mark Bernard’s reaction, pertaining to the terribly tight West Division standings.
“The win makes the five-hour bus ride a lot more fun,” said hero Andrew Archer, whose goal 1:44 into overtime sent a MetroCentre turnout of 2,922 home happy and the IceHogs merrily on their way right after the game to Des Moines to face the Iowa Chops tonight.
The short-handed IceHogs — missing offensive threats Jack Skille, Tim Brent and Bryan Bickell, plus defenseman Jordan Hendry — need to be creative offensively. Monday, it was some of the old and some new.
All-star Petri Kontiola tied the game 1-1 on a shot from the right circle at 8:29 of the second period. That negated a short-handed unassisted score by Griffin’s top goal scorer Darren Haydar (16) earlier at 2:35.
Otherwise, Grand Rapids’ Daniel Larsson (32 saves) and Rockford’s Antti Niemi (23) were stonewalling all scoring attempts.
“We played really good, solid defense,” Niemi said. “We played an overall pretty good game all 60 minutes.”
“I thought we were good today and deserved to win,” he said. “Through the first 40 minutes, we did a lot of good things. We got the puck to the net.
“They came on a little bit in the third period. But I thought we had good composure and played well throughout the overtime also.”
Thanks to Archer popping in his second goal of the season in his 31st game.
“We’d been struggling lately, so it’s nice to pitch in,” he said. “It was pretty much all or nothing there. Konti (Kontiola) made a great play to get it to (Tim) Hambly, and Hambly found me backdoor. It was a really nice pass; I didn’t have to do too much. I was right in front of the net when I got it.
“We have some pretty big parts of our lineup out, so it’s important to pick up the slack.”