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RIVERMEN HAND ICEHOGS 3-1 LOSS

By: Chris Etheridge
The Rockford IceHogs couldn't keep the ball rolling after two straight wins, falling 3-1 on Friday at the Rockford MetroCentre. (By Greg Hamil)
Hogs win streak ends at two

Rockford, Ill.- Four days after taking a loss at the hand of the Rockford IceHogs, the Peoria Rivermen returned the favor on Friday, beating the Rockford IceHogs 3-1 at the Rockford MetroCentre.

"It was a frustrating game," Rockford coach Bill Peters said. "We generated some looks at the net and I thought we were coming, but we didn't get the result we needed."

The Hogs found themselves down early after Peoria's Nicholas Drazenovic banged in a shorthanded goal on a breakaway at 6:53 in the first period.  Winger Chris Conner was credited with the helper.  For his fourth goal of the season, Drazenovic weaved his way in between two defenders to net a highlight-reel goal past Rockford's Antti Niemi.

The IceHogs responded to tie the game when Jack Skille blasted in a drive from the top of the circle at 11:29.  Defenseman Danny Groulx and winger Petri Kontiola were marked with the assists.

The Rivermen regained the lead 2-1 when winger Alexandre Imbeault put a power play goal past Niemi at 7:47 in the second frame.  Imbeault's first AHL goal of the season came with helpers from Josh Soares and Jim Jackson.

And Peoria goaltender Ben Bishop stood strong in the net for the rest of the game holding the IceHogs off the board for the next two frames.  He finished with 30 saves including 16 in the third period.

"We have to find a way to play 60 minutes like we did in the last 20," Peters said. "We generated 16 shots and gave up four.  In the first period we gave up five, so defensively obviously we're doing some good things. We have to find a way to score goals."

Peoria's Chris Conner sealed the deal with an empty-net goal at 18:39 in the third period.

The IceHogs went 1-for-7 on the man advantage while Peoria was 1-for-6.  In Niemi's 10 starts in 2008-09, the Vantaa, Finland native has allowed three goals in just two games.  He finished with 16 saves on Friday.

Next Home Game: Saturday, Nov. 22 vs. Quad City Flames. Game time is slated for 7:05 p.m. Rockford matches up with the rival Flames at the MetroCentre for the second time this season. The first 2,000 fans to the game will receive an IceHogs Winter Hat courtesy of Rasmussen College and WTVO-TV channel 17.



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