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By: Chris Etheridge
Rockford beat Quad City in the 102nd regular season meeting between those two organizations. (Photo by Greg Hamil)

Rockford improves to 4-1 in the shootout in 2008-09

Rockford, Ill. - Even in a different league and different uniforms the Rockford IceHogs still have to fight every minute to beat a team from Quad City.

Despite giving up three leads throughout the game, the IceHogs won 5-4 in a shootout on Saturday in front of 4,342 at the Rockford MetroCentre.

And after a somewhat quiet first quarter of the 2008-09 season, Bryan Bickell notched a goal and game-winning shot in the fifth frame of the shootout to give
Rockford two points.

"I saw everyone deeking and Skille shot on his blocker side," Bickell said of the shootout. "(Matt Keetly) is a right-handed glove and that's my shot, so I just lined it up and it went in."

Rockford shooters missed the first three shots, Pascal Pelletier evened the shootout with a goal that just rolled over Keetly's glove and into the net.  Rockford's Corey Crawford let in a marker from Carsen Germyn in the first round, but then shut down the Quad City shooters for the rest of the shootout.

In the first frame, Pelletier scored his team-leading seventh goal at 0:46 on the power play with Keetly committed on the other side of the net to start the game off strong for
Rockford.  Petri Kontiola and Danny Groulx had the assists.

Then Jack Skille tacked on a short-handed goal on a breakaway at 4:50 in the second to give
Rockford the two-goal advantage.  Quad City responded with markers from Kris Chucko at 10:11 and John Armstrong at 17:08 to knot the game up against in the second frame.

With the score tied 2-2 in the third period, Skille recorded his second goal of the game and third of the weekend on a power play at 5:06 in the third.

"He had a good weekend and was real good in a lot of different areas,"
Rockford coach Bill Peters said. "He got his nose dirty and made plays with speed and he was excellent on the penalty kill and contributed offensively."

Then Flames' winger Peter Vandermeer tied the game again with his third goal of the season.  The marker, which ricocheted off of Rockford defenseman Tim Hambly, came at 10:47 in the third frame with helpers from Adam Cracknell and Armstrong.

"They came back three times and that was a very resilient group over there," Peters said. "But I like the fact that we came back three times too and we showed some composure and came back to win it in the end."

Bickell gave
Rockford the 4-3 lead at 15:48 in the third frame.  Hambly and Mike Blunden recorded the assists.

But Flames' center Jamie Lundmark brought the game to a stalemate at 17:03 in the third frame.  Anders Eriksson helped with the assist.

"They never stop and they're always working," Bickell said. "We were lucky to get those goals early, but they came back and it went back and fourth. We were just lucky to get a couple of great saves from (Corey Crawford)."

Rockford netminder finished with 29 saves compared to 28 for Keetly.  The IceHogs finished with 2-for-4 on the man advantage and remained strong on the penalty kill.  Rockford finished 8-for-8 on the penalty kill and is 93.9 percent in the last six games.

Next Home Game: Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008: San Antonio Rampage at Rockford IceHogs at 7:05 p.m. It’s the first meeting between the Rockford IceHogs and San Antonio Rampage in 2008-09. The first 5,000 fans in attendance will get a special 10th Anniversary Pin courtesy of OSF HealthCare. Also, Superfan Cameron Hughes returns to the Rockford MetroCentre by popular demand courtesy of WTVO. It’s another Student Rush Night presented by WXRX as any college or high school students can get the best available seat for just $10 if they come within an hour of game time.

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