The Rockford IceHogs erased a two-goal deficit, but the comeback effort was thwarted by the Cleveland Monsters, who handing the IceHogs their first road loss of the season, 3-2, at Quicken Loans Arena on Halloween.
With the score tied 2-2 in the third, Paul Bittner found open ice in the left circle and snapped home a power-play tally -- the lone special teams goal of the game -- to knock home what proved to be the game-deciding strike.
Initially, a back-and-forth first frame saw the Monsters open the scoring at 13:45. Joe Pendenza fired a shot that IceHogs goaltender J.F. Berube knocked wide, but Alex Broadhurst tracked the rebound off the end-boards and slammed it inside the left post for the only first-period tally.
An early goal in the middle frame boosted the Cleveland lead to 2-0. Jordan Schroeder powered the puck to the front of the net, Sam Vigneault found the goal post and Calvin Thurkauf finished off the play just :46 seconds into the frame.
Carl Dahlstrom answered to cut the lead to 2-1 at 11:24. Luke Johnson bumped the puck up the left wall to Luc Snuggerud who quickly passed it to Dahlstrom. The Swedish-born defender fired a shot from the right point that slipped inside the goalpost for his first goal of the 2017-18 campaign.
With time winding down in the second stanza, Tomas Jurco evened the score at 2-2. Darren Raddysh wound up a slapshot from the right point and Jurco deflected it into the top-left corner to tie the game with just 42.1 seconds remaining on the board.
The IceHogs mounted a late rally but could not find a way to even the game with a power play and J.F. Berube on the bench in favor of an extra attacker. Rockford ended the game 0-for-7 on the power play while the Monsters went 1-for-4 on the man-advantage.