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ANOTHER 5-4 CONTEST GOES TO OKC

By: Mike Peck
Photo by Steve Christy

Hogs 11-game point streak comes to an end

Oklahoma City, Okla.-
Back-to-back high scoring affairs and back-to-back 5-4 losses for the Rockford IceHogs. After falling in overtime on Friday to the Oklahoma City Barons, the IceHogs fell in regulation on Saturday, ending their 11-game point streak.

Down 4-3 in the third period, Rockford tied the contest on the power play. Brandon Pirri picked up a Pierre-Marc Bouchard pass at the Barons blueline and beat Richard Bachman under the cross bar at 9:27 for his 11th marker on the season. It also marked Pirri's 200th career point, the first in IceHogs history to reach the plateau.

Choppy ice conditions at the Cox Convention Center wreaked havoc all weekend long and the Barons benefited for the game winning goal. Rockford defenseman Adam Clendening had a puck hop over his stick in the neutral zone and Oklahoma City's Autsin Fyten picked it up and deeked around Jason LaBarbera at 16:11 for the eventual game winner.

For the first time in 11 games, Rockford did not mark the game's first goal. On a power play, Mark Arcobello's shot from the left face-off circle was tipped by Matthew Ford and under Kent Simpson, who started in net for the Hogs, at 10:16 for his third goal in two games against Rockford on the weekend and 15th overall.

Oklahoma City was granted a power play before the puck was even dropped in the second period and it spelled doom for Rockford's league worst penalty kill. Arcobello fired his eighth goal of the season five-hole on Simpson 44-seconds into the middle period.

Rockford hopped on the board as Jeremy Morin extended his point streak to 12-straight games. Morin picked up a Bouchard pass and fired his team leading 21st goal of the season past Bachman at 2:27.

Then, Adam Clendening tied the game at 2-2 when he blasted his eighth goal of the season off a pass from Drew LeBlanc, set up by a good hustle play from Garret Ross at 10:01.

But off the ensuing faceoff, Arcobello set up Steve Pinizzotto on a 2-on-1 breakaway as the Barons reclaimed the lead at 10:19 chasing Simpson from the game. That lead was moved back to two, at 4-2, when Curtis Hamilton redirected an Oscar Klefbom shot from the point past LaBarbera.

The IceHogs closed that gap back to a goal before the second intermission. After getting tossed out of the face-off circle, Brad Mills picked up a Brandon Pirri face-off win and sniped his third goal of the season over Bachman at 18:33.

Rockford's last regulation loss came on Jan. 31 in Rochester and went 9-0-1-1 in the 11 games before Saturday's regulation defeat in OKC.

Next Home Game: Tuesday, March 4 against Rochester Americans. The puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. It is a WXRX Dollar Day and all fans in attendance can receive $1 hot dogs, soft drinks, beers and companion tickets.



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