The Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets came together at both the NHL and AHL level on Tuesday night.
Both teams are much better at the NHL level but it was a little bit concerning that the Rockford Ice Hofs didn’t have a single win. They went into this game with the Cleveland Monsters with a record of 0-5-1-0 so they were pretty desperate for a win. Well, finally they clawed their way to their first win of the season as they defeated the Monsters by a final score of 3-2.
It was a Cale Morris start for Rockford and he was really good to earn his first start of the season. He has been the backup for most of the year but they might start to consider him for more starts as his numbers are looking nice now. Picking up the first win of the season for any goalie on the squad has to feel good as well.
Evan Barratt scored his first pro goal in this game to get it tied at one. He became the seventh player on the Ice Hogs to net their first career pro goal this season. Of them all, he has one of the better chances of cracking the NHL lineup someday.
The Hogs did go down again 2-1 but they got it tied with less than three minutes to go thanks to a goal by Andrei Altybarmakyan. It was a fun way to get it tied late. The real fun, however, came when Isaak Phillips scored the eventual game-winner with 1:32 left in the third period. It was just what the doctor ordered as the Ice Hogs needed to get their first win in the worst way possible.
Things haven’t been easy for the Ice Hogs so far this year but maybe they can use this to propel them forward. They have a lot of development going down there and the Hawks need to make sure that it continues. They are still searching for more high-end skills but that is going to take time. This AHL squad winning and feeling good about themselves is very important to the organization. Hopefully, a big win like this helps them turn their season around.
The Ice Hogs are back in action on Saturday when they battle the Cleveland Monsters again. This matchup is getting to be pretty fun so it will be cool to see these two meet again for a back-to-back over the weekend in Cleveland.