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MOOSE TROUNCE ROCKFORD IN MANITOBA

By: Mike Peck
Photo by Greg Hamil
Rockford falls hard for the second straight game

Winnipeg, Man.-
For the second straight game the Rockford IceHogs were on the wrong end of a blowout. Rockford was knocked out 6-1 by the Manitoba Moose at the MTS Centre on Friday night.

Despite outshooting Manitoba 12-6 and carrying the play for most of the first period, Rockford found themselves down 2-0 after the first 20 minutes. Both goals were tallied by Matt Pope who had just one marker in 32 games entering play on Friday.

Pope put the Moose on the board at 13:16 when Marco Rosa found him in front of the Rockford goal and the winger slipped his first of the night past Hannu Toivonen. Later in the frame, with Manitoba’s power play ticking down, Rosa found Pope streaking through the IceHogs zone and he shelved his second tally of the game over the glove of Toivonen at 15:23.

In the second period Manitoba chased Toivonen from the game with a short handed tally. Matt Pettinger picked up a fanned shot by Brian Connelly and skated end-to-end and beat Toivonen five-hole at 3:56 for his 14th goal of the season.

Corey Crawford replaced Toivonen and was greeted rudely at 5:58 of the second period. Peter Olvecky’s shot from the left circle deflected off of Rosa and past Crawford for Rosa’s 20th goal of the season making it 4-0.

The barrage didn’t end there for Rockford as Manitoba tacked on one more in the second frame on the power play. Yan Stastny picked up a Guillaume Desbiens feed and beat Crawford between the pads at 13:37 for his 11th tally of the season.

Rockford stopped the bleeding with a late second period goal from Matt Keith. Keith picked up a Pete MacArthur cross-ice pass and beat Cory Schneider backdoor for his 19th goal of the year.

Manitoba added one more in the third period when Olvecky picked Adam Hobson’s pocket and shoved his 12th goal of the season past Crawford at 14:13.

Both teams finished with 29 shots and Toivonen was tagged with the loss after blocking six of nine shots. In relief, Crawford turned away 17 of 20 Moose attempts while Schneider made 28 saves for Manitoba.

Next Home Game: Sunday, March. 14 vs. Houston Aeros. Game time is 5:05 p.m. Join in the celebration at the Rockford MetroCentre for Hammy's Birthday. The first 2,500 fans into the arena will receive an IceHogs cereal bowl courtesy of General Mills and WROK. The game is also a WXRX Student Rush Night and fans can get Family Four Packs, including four tickets, four hot dogs, four soft drinks and four popcorns for just $44. Plus, the IceHogs are giving away game-worn jerseys of Bracken Kearns, Mike Brennan, Simon Danis-Pepin, Mark Cullen and Evan Brophey. All jersey winners will be drawn at random and fans can sign up to win at the game.



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