Chris DiDomenico and Carl Dahlstrom each nabbed second-period goals to snap a 1-1 deadlock and push the Rockford IceHogs to their fifth consecutive victory in the Calder Cup playoffs, a 4-1 decision over the Manitoba Moose in Winnipeg. The IceHogs now take a 2-0 series lead in the Central Division Finals back to Rockford for Games 3 and 4 on Wednesday, May 9 and Friday, May 11.
With its win today, Rockford also set the franchise record (AHL and UHL) with four straight road wins in the playoffs, and its five-game overall win streak is just one shy of the all-time mark from the 2007 UHL Championship season.
After Rockford’s Tyler Sikura canceled out Brendan Lemieux’s opening tally for the Moose in the first period, DiDomenico struck on a second-period power play with a laser of a wrist shot over the shoulder of Manitoba’s Eric Comrie. DiDomenico now leads the Hogs with 3g-5a-8pts in the postseason, and is the only Rockford player to boast points in each of the team’s five playoff outings thus far.
Just over 11 minutes later, Carl Dahlstrom let loose a one-timed blast from the point that sailed into the net top-shelf to double the Hogs’ lead to 3-1. Dahlstrom’s goal was his first of the playoffs, but the blueliner is now tied for third in team scoring with 1g-4a-5pts.
The teams played scoreless hockey and traded penalties in the final frame, but Andreas Martinsen’s empty-net strike sealed the IceHogs victory and a 2-0 series advantage after a pair of road wins in Manitoba.
Rockford’s Collin Delia, who has started each of the IceHogs’ five outings in the postseason, remained perfect in the playoffs as well as he stopped 33 of 34 Moose shots. Delia leads all netminders in the playoffs with a 1.52 GAA and ranks second with a .949% save percentage. In the opposite crease, Comrie turned aside 18 of 21 pucks.