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AEROS CHASE DOWN ICEHOGS IN HOUSTON

Article By: Mike Peck

03/16/2012 7:00 PM - Flick’s two late tallies not enough to overcome 4-1 deficit

Houston, Tex.-After seeing their season long eight game point streak come to an end on Tuesday, the Rockford IceHogs suddenly have a two game losing streak. The Houston Aeros ousted Rockford 4-3 on Friday at the Toyota Center after Rockford’s sluggish start for a second straight game put them in a three goal hole.

Houston claimed the first tally on Friday after some early pressure in the Rockford zone on Alexander Salak. Joel Broda rang a slapshot off the post, but the rebound found Justin Fontaine on the weak side and the rookie winger buried his 14th marker of the year past Salak at 4:23.

Then at 7:11 of the first period, former IceHogs winger Jeff Taffe made it 2-0 Houston. The Aeros worked the puck around the IceHogs end and Jon DiSalvatore found Taffe in the slot where he blasted home his 15th tally of the campaign.

Rockford grabbed their first tally of the night on the power play at 15:01 to momentarily stop the momentum. Center Peter LeBlanc batted a puck out of mid-air from a Byron Froese rebound, knocking in his 21st goal of the season past Joe Fallon to make it 2-1.

But Houston put their lead back to two with a power play marker late in the period. Kris Fredheim jammed his own rebound past Salak at 19:44 to make it 3-1 at the first intermission.

Fontaine wired home his second goal of the season 7:42 into the second frame to make it 4-1. David McIntyre found Fontaine on top of the right faceoff circle and the rookie beat Salak far post.

Rob Flick made things interesting for Rockford late in the third period with a pair of goals. Flick picked up a Ben Youds pass in the deep slot and the rookie winger slapped his fourth goal of the season past Fallon through traffic at 16:19.

Then just 23-seconds later, Flick redirected a Wade Brookbank pass over the shoulder of Fallon for his second of the game to pull Rockford within a goal at 4-3. Brookbank helped on both of Flick’s tallies.

That’s as close as Rockford would come as they couldn’t cash in with Salak pulled for the final minute. Salak made 25 saves in the loss while Fallon earned the win after making 26 on his former mates.

Next Home Game: Tuesday, March 20 vs. Hamilton. The Bulldogs are in town for the second and final matchup against the IceHogs in 2011-12. Game time is 7:05 p.m. Taco Bell Dollar Days continue Tuesday night with beers, hot dogs, soft drinks and companion tickets available for just one dollar a piece.

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”