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Photo courtesy of Amy Williams Photography
10/16/2011 8:00 AM

Article By: Mike Peck

Richards turns away 31 shots in the IceHogs win

Abbotsford, B.C.-Leads haven’t been a problem in the early 2011-12 season for the Rockford IceHogs. Holding them in the third period has been a challenge though. Rockford used another late third period tally from Brandon Segal to slip by the Abbotsford Heat 3-2 on Sunday at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.

For the fourth straight game Rockford carried a one-goal lead into the third period and for the fourth straight contest the opponent tied the game. Ben Walter, who was denied on a penalty shot attempt moments earlier, picked the top corner over Alec Richards at 3:27 of the third to tie the game at 2-2.

But Segal, from nearby Delta, B.C., would garner his second game-winning goal of the season, both coming late in the third period. Brian Connelly lofted a puck from the Rockford zone into the Heat side of the ice, which was played by Brett McLean to Segal and the winger beat Leland Irving over the glove at 15:48 for the deciding goal.

Jeremy Morin found the back of the net for the second straight game and Sunday he gave Rockford a 1-0 lead. Chris DiDomenio found Morin inside the right face-off circle and the second-year forward sniped his second goal of the season over Irving at 12:34.

In almost the exact spot that Morin found his scoring touch, Brandon Pirri would extend the Rockford lead to 2-0. Pirri picked up a Jimmy Hayes pass from the right corner and tucked his second goal of the year under the cross bar at 19:19 of the first period.

Abbotsford reduced the lead to 2-1 with a second period power-play goal. Brendan Mikkelson fired a slap shot from the left point which beat Richards in traffic at 4:18 for his first marker of the season.

Rockford was outshot 33-13 for the game and held to 0-5 on the power play. Richards, who stopped a penalty shot for a second straight game, was solid in net once again making 31 saves to warn his third win.

Next Home Game: Saturday, Oct. 22 vs. Chicago Wolves. Game time is 7:05 p.m.The IceHogs welcome the Chicago Wolves to the BMO Harris Bank Center for the first of 12 meetings. Fans can purchase a special family four pack for $49 that includes four tickets, four Culvers concrete mixers and four tickets to the Discovery Center’s “Peanuts….Naturally” exhibit. The four pack can be purchased at the BMO Harris Bank Box Office, Discovery Center or at any Rockford area Culver’s locations.