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KEARNS SCORES WITH 11 SECONDS LEFT, HOGS WIN 2-1 IN SHOOTOUT

Five Chicago Blackhawks players visited the Rockford MetroCentre for Blackhawks Night presented by Taco Bell. (photo by Greg Hamil)
02/27/2010 5:00 PM - Rockford improves to 4-2-1-1 against Peoria with the win

Rockford, Ill.- Bracken Kearns found the back of the net with 11.2 seconds left on a dramatic 6-on-4 power play to push the game to overtime.  Then the Rockford IceHogs picked up the extra point in the shootout, beating the Peoria Rivermen 2-1
on Saturday in front of a sold out Rockford MetroCentre.

"We had a lot of opportunities but not too many shots," said center Adam Hobson. "We stayed with it and eventually it went in."

Peoria's Barry Tallackson put the Rivermen on the board first as he put a drive past Corey Crawford at 12:30 in the second period. Pascal Pelletier and Justin Fletcher figured in with assists on the play.

The game picked up in the third period as the IceHogs had their chances. With Cam Paddock in the box for goaltender interference and the clock ticking down in the final minute, the Hogs took advantage with a 6-on-4 when they pulled Crawford.  At 19:48, Kearns found his chance and cashed in, flipping the puck past Hannu Toivonen to send it into overtime. Matt Keith and Jack Skille registered the assists.

"Coach came in during the second intermission and said 'I don't care if it goes in in the first minute or last minute, we're going to keep on playing until we score' and that's what we did," said Hobson.

It was the second time in four games that the IceHogs won after trailing in the second intermission.

"That's what good teams do," said Hobson. "They always find ways to win. Whether we're down or any sort of situation, they find ways to win and that's what we're doing right now."

After a scoreless overtime, Akim Aliu and Matt Keith registered goals in the shootout, while Nicholas Drazenovic was the lone Rivermen skater to beat Crawford.

The Hogs and Rivermen were both 1-for-4 on the power play in the game.  Crawford made 22 saves in the win, while Toivonen had 24 saves in the losing effort.

With the victory, Crawford is just two wins shy of becoming the winningest goalie in IceHogs history.

Next Home Game: Wednesday, March 3 vs. Lake Erie Monsters. The game gets underway at 7:05 p.m.  IceHogs game-worn jerseys of Danny Bois, Akim Aliu, Jonathan Carlsson, Bryan Bickell and Joe Fallon will be given away during the game. It’s also a Golden Goal game, where fans will have a chance to win $10,000 if the IceHogs score with 9:10 left on the clock in the third period.  High School and college students will also be able to get the best available ticket after 6 p.m. for just $10 as a part of WXRX’s Student Rush program.  Call (815) 847-6399 and ask about the 4 for $44 family pack which includes four tickets, sodas, hot dogs and popcorn.