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LATE PENALTIES PROHIBIT A ROCKFORD COMEBACK

Article By: Mike Peck

Photo courtesy of the Charlotte Checkers
11/20/2011 7:30 AM - IceHogs fall 4-3 to the Checkers

Charlotte, N.C.-Unfortunately, third period comeback attempts have been the norm for the Rockford IceHogs lately. And even worse, the IceHogs haven’t been able to finish them off.  Rockford fell to the Charlotte Checkers 4-3 at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte.

In the opening frame, Rockford capitalized on a Charlotte turnover to grab a 1-0 lead. Rob Klinkhammer found Peter LeBlanc open in front and the IceHogs winger tallied his third goal of the season past Mike Murphy at 9:21.

A power-play goal for the Checkers tied the game just over two minutes later. Chris Murry’s point blast from the right side was deflected off of Rockford’s Philippe Paradis’ stick and under Alec Richards and in at 11:40.

Moments after another power play expired, Charlotte would take a 2-1 lead. Chris Terry drove around IceHogs winger David Gilbert and fed Jon Matsumoto on the weak side of the IceHogs net and the winger buried his seventh goal of the season past Richards at 16:58.

Before the first intermission, Rockford was able to tie the contest at 2-2. Jimmy Hayes picked up a Brandon Pirri pass and flipped his third goal of the season over Murphy at 19:50.

Chris Durno put Charlotte back on top in the second frame with his second goal of the season. Nicolas Blanchard drove a puck over the IceHogs line and Durno picked it up and shelved the go-ahead marker over the right shoulder of Richards at 6:10 for a 3-2.

That lead was extended to two in the third period at 3:07. Mathew Pistilli picked off an IceHogs pass in the neutral zone and beat Richards back the other way with a backhanded shot from inside the left face-off circle for his third marker of the year, chasing Richards from the game.

Just after a power play expired, the deficit was reduced to one by the IceHogs. Pirri set up a give-and-go with Rostilav Olesz and the winger tallied his second goal in as many games at 11:18 of the final frame to make it 4-3.

The IceHogs, however, took two minor penalties in the final six minutes and couldn’t complete the comeback against the Checkers. Richards was tagged with the loss after turning away 17 of 21 shots. Just Peters, who replaced Murphy in the second period, earned the win blocking 24 of 25 Rockford shots.

Next Home Game: Wednesday, Nov. 23 vs. San Antonio Rampage at 7:05 p.m. The first 1,500 fans 18 and older get an IceHogs bottle opener thanks to Bud Light. Fans can also take advantage of Taco Bell Dollar Days at the BMO Harris Bank Center as fans can get $1 beers, sodas, hot dogs and companion tickets.

For every goal that the Rockford IceHogs score in 2011-12, IceHogs head coach Ted Dent will make a donation to children’s cancer research. BMO Harris Bank will also make a donation for every goal to the “BMO Harris Bank Goals For Grades”