Rockford, IL – The Adirondack Flames earned another crucial point in the standings, but were downed 4-3 in the shootout by the Rockford IceHogs on Wednesday evening at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
Kenny Agostino extended his scoring streak to seven games with a goal, while Ben Hanowski and Garnet Hathaway also scored for the Flames, who inched to within one point of the eighth and final playoff position in the Western Conference. Brad Thiessen turned aside 42 of 45 shots but was defeated for the second time in three shootout appearances this season. Spencer Abbott had two goals in regulation and the lone goal in the shootout to lead Rockford.
The IceHogs came out flying on home ice and were rewarded with the game’s first goal, as Dennis Rasmussen beat Adirondack netminder Brad Thiessen to make it 1-0. Rasmussen redirected home the original shot off the stick of Dane Walters to open the scoring, Rasmussen’s ninth goal of the season. Defenseman Keith Seabrook also collected an assist. Thiessen stole the show for the remainder of the first period, however, as he turned aside 15 of 16 shots to keep the Adirondack deficit at one goal.
The Flames rebounded early in the second period, as Garnet Hathaway buried a shorthanded tally to knot the score at one. Center Max Reinhart made a seeing eye pass to a streaking Hathaway, who beat Rockford netminder Michael Leighton with a forehand shot. The goal was Hathaway’s 15th goal of the season, which places him one behind teammate David Wolf for the team lead. Reinhart collected his seventh assist over his past four games on the play.
Adirondack took its first lead of the night at the 4:37 mark of the middle stanza as Kenny Agostino converted on the power play to make it 2-1 Flames. A Devin Setoguchi shot from the right point took multiple deflections in front before it fell to Agostino on the back post and the Yale graduate went top shelf on the rebound for the goal. The assists were credited to Hathaway and Turner Elson, who each got a touch on the puck in front before it found its way to Agostino.
Rockford would tie the game at two as Spencer Abbott made a nice re-direction to get the IceHogs back to level pegging. Peter Regin streaked down the left flank and fired a shot on net, which Abbott got just enough of to get the puck past Thiessen. Nearly five minutes later, Abbott would add his second of the game on the man advantage, as he put home a rebound in front of Thiessen to make it 3-2. After Thiessen made an athletic diving stop on Regin, the puck sat in the Adirondack slot untouched before a trailing Abbott swatted the rebound into the net on the backhand. The goals for Abbott give him five goals in six games with the IceHogs since he was acquired in a trade from Toronto.
With just over three minutes to play, Ben Hanowski earned the Flames a point with his goal from the slot in his first game back from injury. The St. Cloud State product took a feed from Agostino and slotted his shot past Leighton to make it 3-3. Center Taylor Vause also collected an assist on the game tying goal.
After a thrilling overtime that saw Leighton and Thiessen put on a goaltending display, the game proceeded to a shootout where Abbott was the only man to find the back of the net. Mathieu Tousignant, Setoguchi and Hanowski were Adirondack’s participants, but none of the three could beat Leighton.
The Flames will remain in Rockford for a rematch on Saturday, before a matchup against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Sunday. The team will return home to the Glens Falls Civic Center for Pucks & Paws 2 and a tilt against the Hamilton Bulldogs on Wednesday, March 25, with start time slated for 7:00 p.m. Tickets are still available for the midweek contest. Visit the Flames box office, call 518-480-3355, or order online at glensfallscc.com to be a part of Great Meadow Federal Credit Union Wednesday.
Adirondack Flames Hockey • Fired Up