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By: Mike Peck
Photo by Scott Paulus

First shootout in 2008-09 results in two points

Milwaukee, Wis.- A last-minute goal from Petri Kontiola to tie the game late in the third period for the Rockford IceHogs (4-1-0-0) led to a 4-3 shootout win on Saturday against the Milwaukee Admirals (1-2-0-1) at the Bradley Center.

With the clock winding down, the center popped the puck past Drew MacIntyre on a 6-on-4 with 16 seconds left with helpers from Tim Brent and Pascal Pelletier.

"(Pelletier) hit the post and the guys on the bench thought it was a goal," Peters said. "But you can hang your head or you can dig in. They got the puck back to the net and (Kontiola) took a whack at it."

Then after a scoreless overtime, Kontiola and Pelletier scored on MacIntyre and Antti Niemi only let one through from Mike Santorelli in the shootout to steal a win from the Admirals.

"It was a roll the dice on a shootout and I'll take that anytime," Peters said. "(Santorelli's shot) went through the five hole and I think it pissed Niemi off and he shut it down."

The Rockford IceHogs led twice in the game but fell behind the Admirals 3-2 in the third frame. Cody Franson gave the Admirals their first lead of the game at 8:22 in the third with helpers from Cal O'Reilly and Alexander Sulzer.

In the second frame, Cam Barker gave the Rockford IceHogs a 2-1 lead with his third goal of the season, a low-flying one-timer at 6:59 from the blue line that went past Drew Macintyre. Newcomer Jason Lepine recorded his first career AHL assist on the goal. Evan Brophey also added a helper.

Lepine, who finished with an assist and an a +2 in his AHL debut, joined the IceHogs late this afternoon to fill in for defenseman Andrew Archer, who is missing tonight's game due to a family emergency. The native of Cornwall, Ontario is signed with the Bloomington Prairie Thunder of the International Hockey League this season. He has played in one game so far in 2008-09 and split time between the Corpus Christi Rayz (CHL) and Knoxville Ice Bears (SPHL) in 2007-08, his second professional season.

Antti Pihlstrom tied the score at two at 18:33 on the power play with assists from Santorelli and Sulzer.  All three of Milwaukee's goals came on the advantage.  They finished 3-for-6 on the power play.

The IceHogs, who brought a league-leading 33.3 power play percentage into the Bradley Center, finished 1-for-10 against the Admirals.

"We were soft," Peters said. "And everything was little saucer passes. Everything was way too cute on the power play and you can't do that."

In the first period, Bryan Bickell notched his first goal fo the season with a blast around MacIntyre at 8:13. A night after getting a goal and three assists against Iowa, Troy Brouwer recorded his sixth assist of the season. Barker also was credited with a helper.

But Milwaukee got the point back at 15:56, with a marker from O'Reilly.  Pihlstrom and Nick Spaling had the helpers on the first goal that Rockford has allowed in the first period in 2008-09.

After seven straight power-play goal to start the season, the IceHogs combined for two even-strength goals on Saturday and four on on Friday.

Next Home Game: Friday, Oct. 24 vs. Norfolk Admirals: Game time is 7:30 p.m. The Norfolk Admirals come into the Rockford MetroCentre for the first of two straight against the IceHogs.  The weekend set marks the only time during the 2008-09 regular season that the Hogs will face an Eastern Conference team at home.

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