Charlotte hog-tied in 5-2 loss to Rockford

CHARLOTTE, NC – The Rockford IceHogs came from two goals down to hit the Checkers with five unanswered goals. Charlotte went two goals up in the first period through Brett Bellemore and Zach Boychuk. Bellemore scored after 1.57 of the face-off then Boychuk scored his 13th goal of the season.
 
Charlotte’s lead remained intact until 4.37 of the second period when Rockford’s captain Martin St. Pierre narrowed the score. Brandon Saad, a rookie tied the game for the IceHogs, before Ben Smith scored the winner. St. Pierre scored number four for Rockford.
 
“When we came out for the second period we weren’t ready to play,” said coach Jeff Daniels, whose team fell to 3-4-0 at home this season. “They wanted it more than we did. We just relaxed and thought since we had a lead it was going to be easy.”
Fights started to break out. IceHogs Kyle Beach hit Marc-Andre Gragnani, Nicolas Blanchard leapt to the defense of his colleague. The fight cost Blanchard a 10-minute misconduct and a double-minor for roughing.
 
In the third period, Checker’s Jerome Samson got into a fight with IceHogs St. Pierre.
 
The last time Samson was involved in a fight was in 2008.
 
These scraps were probably the result of frustration on the Checkers part this was their fourth home loss out of seven. Jeremy Morin scored Rockford’s fifth goal on a power-play after Drayson Bowman had been sent to the box.
 
“We set a high standard for ourselves early in the year, and now we’ve got to hold ourselves to that standard every game,” said captain Brett Sutter, whose team fell to 12-6-2 on the season.
Charlotte are now 12-6-2 on the season and 7-3-1 all-time against Rockford. They face the IceHogs once again Sunday December 2nd at 3.00PM.
 
Eddie.Mitchell@ProHockeyNews.com
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