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By: Mike Peck

Hayes hat trick propels Hogs to 7-4 triumph

Oklahoma City, Okla.- Trailing 3-0 11:06 into the first period on Saturday night in Oklahoma City, things didn't look or sit well with the Rockford IceHogs. The Hogs overcame two three-goal deficits for their second straight come-from-behind, third period victory over the Barons at the Cox Convention Center, this one 7-4.

Jimmy Hayes tallied his first career hat trick and added two assists, while Jeremy Morin chipped in two goals.

Down 4-1 early in the second period, Rockford made it a two goal game to begin the comeback. Hayes forced a turnover in the Barons zone and found Morin in front of Niko Hovinen where he deeked out the Barons goalie and shelved his 20th tally of the season at 7:53.

Hayes then struck for the second time of the night finishing off a Martin St. Pierre centering feed at 17:12 of the middle stanza to make it 4-3 at the second intermission.

Rockford's momentum carried over into the third period and Brandon Pirri tied the game early in the frame when he fired his 18th goal of the season over Hovinen at 2:28. The goal extended his point streak to 10-straight games, an IceHogs season high.

The Hogs took their first lead of the night in transition at 5:09m of the third. Terry Broadhurst set up Brandon Svendsen  on the rush and the winger fired his first goal of the season past Hovinen to give Rockford the 5-4 edge.

Another chance on the power play gave Rockford an insurance marker later in the period. Morin slapped a Hayes pass through traffic and under Hovinen for his second tally of the game at 13:06. Hayes would complete his hat trick when he picked up a St. Pierre pass and fired his 22nd goal of the season into an empty Barons net at 19:05.

Rockford held the Barons to three third-period shots on Saturday and in the two-game set in OKC, the Hogs allowed just four third period shots on goal in the final stanza. Henrik Karlsson blocked 27 Oklahoma City shots to earn his fourth win of the season.

All did not start well for Rockford though, as a miscue behind the IceHogs net by Karlsson gave Oklahoma City the early 1-0 lead. Philippe Cornet picked Karlsson's pocket and tucked in his ninth goal of the season into an open Rockford net 1:04 into the opening period.

Later in the first Cornet batted in his second goal of the night, this one coming on the power play at 9:08. Josh Green got in on the scoring act when he touched in a Martin Marincin centering pass past Karlsson at 11:03.

Oklahoma City put more shots on goal in the first period on Saturday (16) then they did in 65 minutes of hockey on Friday night (15).

A power play goal early in the second put Rockford on the board. Hayes picked up an Adam Clendening drop pass and fired his 20th goal of the season over Hovinen at 1:16.

The Barons, however, countered at 5:43 to restore their three goal lead. Mark Arcolbello's shot from on top of the right face-off circle deflected off of an IceHogs stick and over Karlsson for his 18th tally of the season.

Next Home Game:
Friday, March 15 vs. Chicago Wolves. The puck hits the ice at 7:05 p.m. as the IceHogs and Wolves go at it at the BMO Harris Bank Center in an Illinois Lottery Cup matchup. It's Country Night at the BMO sponsored by Frito Lay and Q98.5, where fans will be treated to live music from Back Country Roads. There will also be a mechanical bull on site for fans to ride and a contest for best-dressed cowboy/cowgirl.

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