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By: Amy Spivey
Rockford, Ill.- Alexander Salak made his first start in more than two months and turned away 27 shots to carry the Rockford IceHogs to a 2-1 win over the Chicago Wolves at the BMO Harris Bank Center on Friday night.

Tied at 1-1 after the first 20 minutes, the IceHogs began the middle frame on the man advantage after Kevin Connauton was tagged with a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct as the opening period expired, and Rockford capitalized on their second power play opportunity of the night at the 1:26 mark.

Brandon Segal started the play when he found himself alone in front of the Wolves goal, but couldn’t elevate the puck over Eddie Lack. Shawn Lalonde then picked up the puck and dished it to Brian Fahey, who fired a rocket from the blue line past Lack for his third tally on the campaign, giving Rockford a 2-1 lead. The veteran defenseman has points in four of his last five games, totaling 2g-2a-4pts.

Ben Smith got the IceHogs on the board first with a power play tally at 3:19 of the opening frame. With Nolan Baumgartner in the box for goaltender interference, Peter LeBlanc collected the puck and fired a shot on net. Lack knocked the puck down, but it bounced out to Smith, who tapped it past the Wolves’ netminder for his 14th goal on the campaign.

Chicago then evened the score with a power play goal of their own. Salak worked to cover the puck with a big scramble in front of the IceHogs net, but Nolan Baumgartner found the loose puck and stuffed it in to tie the score at the 12:45 mark in the first period.

The IceHogs went 2-for-3 on their power play chances, while Chicago was only able to convert on one of their six opportunities.

Lack turned away 28 IceHogs shots but was handed the loss.

Next Home Game: Saturday, Feb. 11 vs. Chicago Wolves. The second straight contest between the Wolves and Hogs starts at 7:05 p.m. It is another Illinois Lottery Cup tilt and the 10th of 12 matchups between the two teams. Saturday is fleece blanket giveaway night, and the first 1,500 fans through the doors will receive an IceHogs fleece blanket, courtesy of OSF St. Anthony Medical Center.

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”

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