Hogs, Pack, B’s open preseason with wins

Defenseman Jason Lepine notched two goals and added an assist as Rockford opened its preseason slate with a 4-0 shutout victory over cross-state rival Chicago at the Carlson Arctic Ice Arena in Loves Park, Ill., on Wednesday.

Goaltender Joe Palmer earned the shutout for the IceHogs, stopping all 20 shots he faced.

The game was scoreless through the first period and most of the second before Dave Phillips broke the deadlock for Rockford at 19:42 of the second.

Lepine then tallied power play markers at 3:00 and 16:38 of the third frame, with an even-strength goal off the stick of Daniel Michalsky in between at 5:50. Michalsky added an assist for a multiple-point showing.

Rockford finished 2-for-11 on the power play and held the Wolves scoreless on eight opportunities.

Newcomer Derek Couture tallied a pair of goals as Hartford topped Worcester, 4-1, on Wednesday at the Koeppel Community Sports Center on the campus of Trinity College. It marked the preseason opener for both clubs.

The Wolf Pack notched a pair of first-period goals to take a 2-0 advantage, as Chris Chappell and Couture lit the lamp just 2:16 apart. Chappell’s goal came on the power play.

After a scoreless second frame, Couture struck again at 13:08 of the third frame to make it a 3-0 contest. Ryan Hillier picked up an assist on both of Couture’s markers.

Andrew Carroll also scored for Hartford, and goaltender Ryan Munce stopped 25 of 26 shots in net. His shutout bid ended at 19:57 of the third period when Worcester’s Evgeni Saidachev notched a power play goal.

Sharks goaltender Ryan Nie stopped 34 of 38 shots in the losing effort.

Providence registered a pair of first-period power play goals and held on for a 3-2 win over Springfield on Wednesday at the New England Sports Center in both teams’ preseason opener.

Adam Pineault and defenseman Rob Kwiet each scored in the opening frame for the Bruins, and fellow blueliner Alain Goulet made it a 3-0 game with an even-strength marker at 1:11 of the third.

The Falcons attempted a late rally, receiving tallies from Bryan Lundbohm at 6:24 and Dylan Stanley at 19:02, but they could not get the equalizer in the game’s final minute. Adam Henrich picked up a pair of helpers for Springfield.

Kwiet and Goulet each finished with a goal and an assist in the victory, and Bruins netminder Adam Courchaine earned the win with 32 saves on 34 shots.