J.F. Berube made 32 saves, Tomas Jurco had three points and the Rockford IceHogs opened the 2017-18 season with a 4-0 shutout of the Cleveland Monsters at Quicken Loans Arena Saturday night.
Jurco, Viktor Svedberg, Matthew Highmore, and Ville Pokka each scored their first goals of the season to guide the Hogs to victory, but Berube’s performance and an impressive penalty kill headlined the effort.
The teams split 15 total power plays, but only the IceHogs managed to convert one of their chances when Highmore potted a third-period goal. Highmore’s first professional goal came on a shot past the shoulder of Cleveland’s Brad Thiessen, which iced the win for Rockford.
Jurco struck first for the IceHogs, tallying just a minute and a half into the contest after his pass deflected off a skate for a 1-0 Rockford lead. Berube then held strong despite numerous power-play opportunities as the first period ended with the same score.
The IceHogs netted another goal in the second period, courtesy of Svedberg, and both Highmore and Pokka followed to bolster the lead to 4-0.
Berube’s 32 saves earned the victory in his team debut, and Head Coach Jeremy Colliton notched his first win behind the bench for the IceHogs.