BALANCED OFFENSE, KARLSSON LEAD HOGS OVER HEAT

By: Mike Peck

Karlsson's 33 saves pace Rockford

Abbotsford, BC-
Five different goal scorers and solid goaltending lead the Rockford IceHogs to a key 5-2 win over the Abbotsford Heat on Friday night at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.

Henrik Karlsson made 33 saves and Rostislav Olesz returned to the ice for the first time in nearly a year and contributed a goal and an assist.

Brandon Svendsen put Rockford up 1-0, 7:23 into the first period. The winger picked up a pass from Mathieu Beaudoin and beat Barry Brust low blocker side for his second goal of the season.

That lead was extended just before the end of the period to 2-0. Martin St. Pierre finished off a passing sequence in which Olesz kicked the puck to him on the back door as his stick was tied up by a Heat defender and St. Pierre buried his 21st goal of the season at 19:50.

In the second period, a power play stretched Rockford's lead to 3-0. Steve Montador picked up a St. Pierre pass and blasted home his first goal of the season at 2:11. The goal chased Brust from the game.

Brad Mills was awarded the IceHogs fifth penalty shot attempt of the season while Rockford was killing a Heat penalty. Mills beat Danny Taylor over the glove at 9:22 for his third tally of the year, and Rockford's first penalty shot conversion of the season.

But a shorthanded strike from Abbotsford gave the Heat some life. Moments after Karlsson denied Carter Bancks on a breakaway, Bancks found himself skating in all alone again. Bancks was able to convert on his second breakaway at 13:13 to make it 4-1.

Just as Rockford scored late in period one, Abbotsford turned the tables on Rockford in the second. Greg Nemisz redirected a Joe Callahan slapshot through traffic and past Karlsson at 19:24 to make it 4-2 at the second intermission.

Olesz gave the IceHogs a 5-2 lead in the third period, burying his first goal of the season. Olesz cleaned up a Ryan Stanton shot from the point, also helped by St. Pierre.


Next Home Game: Wednesday, March 27 vs. Toronto Marlies. Game time is 7:05 p.m. Dollar Days return when the Marlies make their lone visit to the Forest City in 2012-13. Fans can take advantage of $1 beers, hot dogs, soft drinks and companion tickets.




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