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HOGS DROP MARLIES WITH BUZZER-BEATER IN OT

Photo by Greg Hamil
Hogs improve to 6-0-0-0 all time against Toronto

Rockford, Ill.-
The Rockford IceHogs remain undefeated all-time against the Toronto Marlies with a buzzer-beating goal in overtime by captain Jake Dowell on Wednesday at the Rockford MetroCentre.

"It's Dowell and (Bracken) Kearns putting pucks on the net that normally don't go in, but I think it crawled up the goalie's stick and in," said Rockford's assistant coach Ted Dent.  "Nine times out of 10 it won't go in, but it did.  When you take pucks to the net that's what happens."

Kearns and Richard Petiot picked up the assists in Dowell's goal.

Kearns started the offensive see-saw in the first period, picking up a loose puck and feeding Kyle Greentree on a well-executed give-and-go to put the IceHogs up 1-0 at 14:51 in the first period. Brian Connelly was also credited with an assist.

At the end of a quiet second period, the Marlies tied it up with Kyle Calder's first goal of the season. The former Chicago Blackhawk slipped it past goalie Joe Fallon with an assist from Andre Deveaux at 19:08.

Things picked up in the final frame when the Marlies took the lead on Deveaux's tenth goal of the season 45 seconds into the third. Calder also registered his second point of the game on the assist.

"Sometime you don't play like you should and still pick up two points, but we'll take it," Dent said. "Hopefully we have more jump on Friday."

Moments later the Hogs tied it back up at 2-2 on the power play when Greentree tipped in another shot from Kearns at 2:05. Mark Cullen also recorded a helper on the play.

With less than nine minutes to play, the Hogs regained the lead with Matt Keith's seventh goal of the season and Cullen's second assist of the game at 7:45.

Toronto continued the back-and-forth affair, tying the game yet again at 15:44 on a shot sniped past Fallon from Tyler Bozak. Greg Scott and Ben Gordon recorded assists.

"We were happy to get the two points," Dent said. "It looked like it was going to a shootout and then it's anybody's game   But we weren't that sharp tonight.  We didn't use our speed and our skill like we should have against a team that was a little banged up."

Fallon turned away 17 of 20 shots for his eleventh win of the year, while Toronto goalie Joey MacDonald made 24 of 28 saves in the losing effort. The IceHogs were successful on their special teams, converting one of two power play chances and holding the Marlies 0-for-2 on the power play.  

Next Home Game: Wednesday, Jan. 13 vs. Houston Aeros. Game time in 7:05 p.m. Rockford opens the first of two straight home games against the Aeros. WIFR has bought out the MetroCentre for the game and all fans can go to www.wifr.com to claim their voucher for up to four free tickets to the IceHogs-Aeros contest.  All vouchers must be redeemed at the MetroCentre Box Office and it is strongly encouraged that fans do it before Wednesday's game. All fans in attendance can also register to win a pair of Blackhawks tickets. The tickets are good for the Blackhawks game on March 10 against the Los Angeles Kings.