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photo by Greg Hamil
Rockford, Ill-Two, two-goal deficits were too much for the Rockford IceHogs to overcome on Friday night as the Oklahoma City Barons cooled them off 4-3 at the Rockford MetroCentre.

It didn't take the Barons long to strike it rich.  At 6:34 of the first period Bryan Helmer wristed the puck towards Hannu Toivonen and Greg Stewart redirected it to the back of the net.  Ryan O'Mara also registered an assist on the play.

Oklahoma City extended their lead to make it 2-0 at 9:31.  Colin McDonald corralled a loose puck in the neutral zone, he moved it down the right side and wristed it in over Toivonen's glove.

The IceHogs got one back to bring them back down one at 11:50.  Mathis Olimb faked a shot at the blue line, passed it to Shawn Lalonde who then found Jeff Taffe.  Taffe blasted a shot over the glove of Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers, to cut Oklahoma's lead to 2-1, netting his team-leading 11th goal of the season.

Rockford tied the game 2-2 to open the second period at 4:22.  Brandon Pirri found Igor Makarov in the right face-off circle and Makarov slapped in his fifth goal of the season.  Rob Klinkhammer also factored in with a helper.

The Barons re-gained the lead as McDonald shelved his second goal of the night.  Brad Moran dished the puck to McDonald on a two-on-one break and he ripped the shot top shelf at 16:22.  Richard Petiot chipped in with an assist.

Less than a minute later Alexandre Giroux slipped one passed Toivonen at 17:01.  Moran found a loose puck in front of Rockford's net, his attempt got caught in traffic.  Giroux took advantage of the chaos to make it 4-2 with Rockford in the hole.

Peter LeBlanc opened the third period with a goal at 1:51. Kyle Beach dropped a pass back to the point and on to the stick of Dylan Olsen.  Olsen quickly fired a slap shot into traffic that made its way off of LeBlanc's stick to the back of the net.

That’s all Rockford could get past Deslauriers, despite playing the final 90-seconds with an extra attacker on. The Hogs peppered the Barons puckstopper with 29 shots. Toivonen was tagged with the loss after making 10 saves. Alec Richards turned away all six third period shots in relief in the third period.

Notes: Kyle Beach extended his point streak six-games (3g-4a).  Rockford held the Barons to a season low shots against with 20.  Tonight marked the first time all season the IceHogs scored three goals and didn't pick up a point.  

Next Home Game: 
Saturday, Jan. 22 vs. San Antonio Rampage.  Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m.  The ice will be pink for the IceHogs' Pink In The Rink Night! The first 2,500 fans to the game will receive a Pink In The Rink T-shirt and the IceHogs will wear special pink jerseys that will be auctioned off with proceeds benefiting Breast Cancer Awareness and Research.

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