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Photo by Greg Hamil
01/29/2009 4:59 PM

Article By: Mike Peck

Rookie winger tallies first AHL goal and a shootout tally

Winnipeg, Man.-With injuries hampering the Rockford IceHogs in the month of January, the Rockford IceHogs have had to rely on players on ECHL recall and loan.  On Thursday the IceHogs received a goal and a shootout marker from newcomer Judd Blackwater, loaned to Rockford earlier in the day from the Stockton Thunder (ECHL), to top the Manitoba Moose 2-1 in the shootout at the MTS Centre.

Blackwater put Rockford on top with a power-play goal in the opening frame.  In his first career AHL game,  Blackwater picked up a Petri Kontiola pass and slid his first career AHL goal past Curtis Sanford at 13:36.  Niklas Hjalmarsson also helped on the goal.

Manitoba got the goal back in the second period just a second after a power play expired. Winger Raymond Sawada swatted in a loose puck past Niemi in traffic for his fourth goal of the season at 3:03.  The goal was marked by Jason Krog and Maxim Fortunas.

The goaltenders did the rest from there as Niemi ended a personal five-game road losing streak making 24 saves.  Sanford was equally as solid, turning away 27 Rockford shots in his third start with the Moose.

In the shootout Manitoba tallied goals in the first two rounds from Michael Grabner and Krog, but Niemi was able to deny the final three Moose attempts.  Rockford received shootout goals from Tim Brent, Blackwater and Mike Radja to grab the extra point. 

The road win was Rockford’s seventh of the season and comes at the beginning of the IceHogs season long seven-game road swing.

Game Highlights
Blackwater First Period Goal
Sawada Second Period Goal

Next Home Game: Friday. Feb. 13 vs. Peoria Rivermen. Rockford returns home at 7:30 p.m. The IceHogs come home after a 19 day hiatus to take on the Rivermen. The first 1,500 kids to the game 14-and-under will receive an IceHogs Youth Jersey courtesy of Feldco Windows and Doors, FOX 39 and 104.9 FM, WXRX.