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By: Mike Peck
Hogs take home win in first exhibition game of 2009

Rockford, Ill.- After nearly two scoreless periods, the Rockford IceHogs broke open their preseason opener against the Chicago Wolves with three third period goals.  Joe Palmer made 20 saves to preserve the 4-0 shutout at Carlson Ice Arena in Loves Park.

After a scoreless first period, a British invasion gave the Rockford IceHogs a 1-0 lead late in the middle frame.  Defenseman David Phillips dumped the puck in from the neutral zone at 19:42 in the second period, when it took an odd bounce and went into the empty net.  Assists came from Brock Wilson and Matt McIlvane.

Then the Hogs took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play to go up 2-0 in the third when Jason Lepine drove in a blast from the deep slot at 3:00 in the third period.  Assists came from Jamie Milam and Tommy Lange.

“We worked hard all week in practice and I thought these guys once they got the nerves and the jitters out of the way were real good,” said IceHogs Head Coach Bill Peters. “They took over the game late in the game.”

Peters watched the game from the stands on Wednesday as Ted Dent took over as bench boss for the night with the assistance of Toledo Walleye Head Coach Nick Vitucci.
At 5:50 in the second period, Daniel Michalsky tallied for the IceHogs with helpers from Ryan Smyth and Lepine.

And Lepine, who is on a try-out from the Bloomington Prairie Thunder of the International Hockey League, added a second goal at 16:48 in the third frame to put the Hogs up 4-0.  Maxime Tanguay and Michalsky had the assists.

“We thought we knew what we were going to do tomorrow,” Peters said of the impending Training Camp cuts. “We thought that some guys were maybe going to head out of town but we have to re-evaluate that after tonight’s game and we’ll talk about that as a staff tomorrow.  Some guys may have bought themselves some more time.”

Kevin Armstrong started for Chicago and turned away all 13 shots he faced. He was replaced midway through the second period by Kris Mayotte who allowed all four Rockford goals on 17 shots.

Next Regular Season Home Game: Friday, Oct. 16 vs. Chicago Wolves. Game time is 7:05 p.m. After five-straight road tilts to open the 2009-10 regular season the IceHogs return home to face the Wolves.  The first 5,000 fans to the game will pick up an IceHogs wall calendar from Maverick Media and 23 WIFR.

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