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By: Mike Peck
Tim Brent added a goal and two assists in Rockford's 6-3 win on Saturday. (Photo by im Orlando)

Six-goal outburst carries IceHogs in Toronto

Toronto, Ont.- Tired legs weren’t an issue for the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday as the American Hockey League club sailed to a 6-3 win over the Toronto Marlies at the Ricoh Coliseum.  aThe win was Rockford’s third in a row to begin its season-long seven game road swing.

Despite playing their third game in three days, including an early-morning plane from Manitoba on Saturday, it was the IceHogs jumping on top of the Marlies in the opening period.  Evan Brophey got things going for Rockford in the first period when he snuck his 10th goal of the season past Justin Pogge.  Adam Pineault set him up at 8:44.

Brophey and Pineault figured in on Rockford’s second goal at 10:57 of the frame.  The combo assisted on a tick-tac-toe goal that was finished by rookie winger Mike Radja.  The marker was Radja’s 10th of the season.

The IceHogs took advantage of their only power play of the period to push their lead to 3-0.  Rookie winger Judd Blackwater hammered in his second goal of the campaign off of a perfect centering feed from Tim Brent at 15:26.

Penalty problems cost Rockford in the second period as Toronto chipped in two four-on-three power-play goals. Tim Stapleton was first to strike at 5:51 cutting the IceHogs lead down to 3-1 with his 10th goal of the season past Corey Crawford.

Bates Battaglia then made it a one-goal game when he jammed a loose puck under Crawford in at 7:12 for his 12th lamp lighter of the season. Kris Newbury set up both goals.

Rockford got the goal back with another power tally.  Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson sniped his second goal of season under the cross bar at 15:54 set up by Radja and Pineault.

Blackwater later pushed Rockford’s lead back to three goals with his second goal of the night.  The rookie winger picked up another pin point pass from Brent and knocked his third goal home at 17:44, making it 5-2 after two. Tim Hambly also helped.

Toronto attempted a third period comeback when Jiri Tlusty fired home his ninth goal of the season at 14:15 making it a 5-3 game.  With Pogge pulled, the IceHogs iced the game as Brent tallied an empty-net goal for the second straight night after Kontiola forced a turnover at 19:39.

Rockford was outshot in each of the three periods and 31-21 overall, but picked up the win after Crawford made 28 saves.  Pogge was given the loss after turning away 15 IceHogs shots.

Next Home Game: Friday, Feb. 13 vs. Peoria Rivermen. Rockford returns home at 7:30 p.m. The IceHogs come home after a 19 day hiatus to take on the Rivermen. The first 1,500 kids to the game 14-and-under will receive an IceHogs Youth Jersey courtesy of Feldco Windows and Doors, FOX 39 and 104.9 FM, WXRX.

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