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Photo by Jason Villanueva
01/08/2010 10:00 AM

Article By: Mike Peck

Hogs open Texas trip with 5-3 loss

Houston, Tex.
-Corey Crawford made his return to the Rockford IceHogs net on Friday night and Lady Luck was not on his side.  The IceHogs fell 5-3 to the Houston Aeros at the Toyota Center and three of the five Aeros goals deflected off of IceHogs players and into the IceHogs goal.

Houston jumped on the board first on Friday. Defenseman Jamie Fraser wristed a shot from the point and it deflected off of IceHogs center Jake Dowell and past Crawford at 10:57. Colton Gillies and Duncan Milroy assisted on Fraser’s first goal of the season.

Jack Skille evened the game at 1-1 in the second period. Skille redirected a Brian Connelly pass past Wade Dubielwicz for his 12th goal of the season at 9:20. Mark Cullen also helped on the goal.

The Aeros reclaimed the lead off of another deflection off an IceHogs player. Jean Michel Daoust wristed a shot from on top of the left face off circle and the floater hit Rockford defenseman Simon Danis-Pepin and hopped past Crawford at 17:34. The goal was Daoust’s 13th of the season and was assisted by Chad Rau.

In the third period Rockford tied the game at 2-2 with a power-play goal at 5:17.  Bryan Bickell finished off a solid power play effort when he potted his eighth goal of the season short side on Dubielwicz, helped by Connelly and Matt Keith.

But Houston would later rattled off three straight markers to break open the game. Jon DiSalvatore put the Aeros back on top when he dumped in a rebound off of a Cody Almond shot at 9:58.  Then Peter Kalus capitalized on a breakaway at 12:00 when a puck hopped over the stick of Daryl Boyle, burying the eventual game-winning goal.

The bad hops continued for Crawford and the IceHogs as Matt Kassian was given credit for his first goal of the season at 15:16.  Kassian’s pass from below the left face off dot deflected off of Cullen’s stick and up and over Crawford making it 5-2 Aeros.

Rob Klinkhammer closed the gap to two at 19:23 when he swiped a rebound in for his sixth goal of the season at 19:23, set up by Evan Brophey and Danis-Pepin. That was all Rockford could muster and they fell in Houston for a second time this season.

The IceHogs did outshot the Aeros 37-30 in the game, but Dubielwicz outdid Crawford making 34 saves in earning the win. Both power plays cashed in as well as Rockford went 1-3 and the Aeros finished 1-4.

Next Home Game:
  Wednesday, Jan. 13 vs. Houston Aeros.  Game time is 7:05 p.m.  It’s the second ever WIFR Sell Out Night when the IceHogs take on the Aeros for a fourth time this season and second in Rockford.

The IceHogs then return home on Friday, Jan. 15 to take on the Aeros at 7:05 p.m. The first 1,500 fans will pick up an IceHogs Youth Jersey courtesy of Feldco Windows and Doors.

Game Notes:
Jack Skille attempted Rockford’s first penalty shot of the season at 3:38 of the second period and missed on his attempt.