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By: Mike Peck

Three late second period goals drops IceHogs 5-4

Houston, Tex.- When leading after two periods this season, the Rockford IceHogs have been nearly unbeatable.  Getting to the second intermission ahead of the Houston Aeros on Sunday was a different story.

With the IceHogs leading 4-2 in the middle frame, the Aeros came storming back scoring three goals is the period’s final four minutes to knock off the IceHogs 5-4 at the Toyota Center.

The IceHogs matched Houston’s early first period goal with an early goal in the second.  Evan Brophey fired his 14th goal of the season past Anton Khudobin 18 seconds into the middle frame to put Rockford up 3-1.  Tim Brent and Danny Groulx assisted on the goal.

Benoit Pouliot pulled Houston back within one when he snapped his fifth goal of the season over the glove of Corey Crawford at 10:26 making it a 3-2 game.  Rockford got the goal back at 12:35 when Pete MacArthur deflected an Evan Brophey feed past Khudobin for his second marker of the night.

Then Houston would rattle off three straight goals to take a 5-4 lead into the second intermission.  Locke got things started when he snuck his 22nd goal of the season five hole at 16:02 on the power play. Kolanos later tied the game at 4-4 firing his 24th goal of the season in at 17:41 then gave the Aeros the lead with his second on the night at 19:53.

That’s all Houston would need as Kudobin held the IceHogs off the board on eight third period shots.  Rockford was outshot 37-29 in the contest.

The Aeros tallied early in the first to grab a 1-0 lead.  Matt Beaudoin deflected a Clayton Stoner slap shop past Crawford just 29 seconds in to the contest for his ninth goal of the season.  Corey Locke also chipped in an assist on the goal.

Rockford countered with a pair of goals to chase Nolan Schaefer from the game early. Dan Bertram shot a puck in on Schaefer from the blue line and the Aeros goalie let out a short rebound.  Mike Radja followed Bertram’s shot a backhanded his 11th goal of the season in to tie the game at 1-1.  Defenseman Joe Charlebois was credited with his first career assist.

Then at 17:46 MacAthur picked up his own rebound and banked his eighth goal of the season in off of Schaefer’s leg from behind the goal line for a 2-1 Rockford advantage. Mike Brennan and Jordan Hendry marked the assists.

Next Home Game: Saturday, March 21 vs. Manitoba Moose.  Game time is 7:05 p.m. The Rockford IceHogs welcome the first-place Moose into the Forest City for the final of two visits in 2008-09. The first 2,000 fans can pick up a replica Goalie Mask Bank courtesy of MembersAlliance Credit Union.

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