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By: Mike Peck
Photo by Nathan Kerley

Peoria, Ill.- Things happened quickly on Wednesday night in Peoria, including goals, lead changes and penalty shots. The Rockford IceHogs, however, dropped a  5-3 contest to the Rivermen at Carver Arena.

Down 2-1 entering the third period, Rockford began the frame on a 5-on-3 power play and capitalized. Just as Peoria got a skater back, Martin St. Pierre knocked down a clear out attempt and fed Jeremy Morin. Morin found Jimmy Hayes backdoor and the winger buried his 16th goal of the season at 1:26.

Less than a minute later Rockford reclaimed the lead. Brandon Pirri blew his 14th tally of the campaign over the shoulder of Mike McKenna at 2:22, giving Rockford the 3-2 edge.

Peoria responded later in the frame to tie the contest back up. On a delayed penalty, Chris Bruton fired his fourth goal of the season past Carter Hutton at 8:58 of the final frame.

It was Peoria's turn on a 5-on-3 advantage and Chris Porter would put the Rivermen back on top. Porter knocked in a Mark Cundari centering pass under Hutton at 13:43 for the eventual game winner. Porter added an empty netter to finish off Rockford at 19:32.

Rockford staved off a Peoria rally in their own zone and countered with the games first tally in the opening period.  Hayes found Terry Broadhurst all alone in front of the Rivermen net and the rookie winger tapped in his second goal of the season at 14:52. Rockford was outshot 15-7 in the first period.

Peoria's strong first period puck possession carried over into the second frame where they tied the game. T.J. Hensick spotted Derek Nesbitt in front of the Rockford goal and the center found his wingman for his 16th goal of the season at 2:02.

Then a battle of penalty shots late in the second period gave both teams an opportunity to grab the lead. Brandon Svendsen was awarded the first attempt at 16:36 of the second period but was denied by McKenna.

Then less than a minute later Hensick got a chance for the Rivermen. Hensick beat Hutton five-hole at 17:29 for his 12th goal of the season to put Peoria up 2-1. The goal marked the first penalty shot goal Rockford had allowed during the AHL era.

Rockford was outshot 44-25 in the game.

Next Home Game: Saturday, Feb. 16 vs. Abbotsford Heat. Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m. The first 2,500 fans (21 and older) into the building will pick up an IceHogs floppy hat courtesy of Bud Light. The game is the second of four against Abbotsford on the season.

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