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RICHARDS BACKSTOPS ROCKFORD TO SHOOTOUT WIN OVER CHECKERS

Photo by Greg Hamil
11/18/2011 7:30 AM - Olesz nets goal, assist and shootout goal in Rockford debut

Charlotte, N.C.-A much needed goalie spark by Alec Richards helped lift the Rockford IceHogs to a 3-2 win over the Charlotte Checkers on Friday night at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte. Richards made 48 saves, including eight in the overtime plus three of four in the shootout.

Despite surrendering 21 first period shots, Richards was able to hold Charlotte off the board in the opening period as he stopped them all. The IceHogs mustered seven shots in on Justin Peters in the Checkers zone in the scoreless first.

Rockford would grab the first goal of the game in the second period. In his first game with the IceHogs, Rostisalv Olesz tallied 1:11 into the frame on a power play. Olesz picked up a Brandon Pirri rebound and snuck the marker past Peters.

Charlotte tied the game at 12:21. Michal Jordan’s shot from the left point popped past Richards in traffic for his third goal of the season, including his second against the IceHogs.

Andrew Shaw and the IceHogs reclaimed the lead with another power-play goal. Olesz fed a pass to Pirri on the right wing and the center’s shot was denied by Peters, but Shaw was there to flip in his third goal of the season at 16:44 to give Rockford a 2-1 lead.

In the third period Charlotte tied the score at 2-2 with just 3:37 left in regulation. Zac Dalpe picked up a loose puck on top of the right face-off circle and blew his first goal of the season over the shoulder of Richards.

In their first shootout of the season, Rockford received goals from Olesz, Brian Connelly and Brett McLean to outdistance the Checkers 3-1 in the extra session.

Next Home Game: Wednesday, Nov. 23 vs. San Antonio Rampage at 7:05 p.m. The first 1,500 fans 18 and older get an IceHogs bottle opener thanks to Bud Light. Fans can also take advantage of Taco Bell Dollar Days at the BMO Harris Bank Center as fans can get $1 beers, sodas, hot dogs and companion tickets.

For every goal that the Rockford IceHogs score in 2011-12, IceHogs head coach Ted Dent will make a donation to children’s cancer research. BMO Harris Bank will also make a donation for every goal to the “BMO Harris Bank Goals For Grades” initiative.