02/16/2011 7:05 PM - Rookie puckstopper makes 34 saves in the win
Rockford, Ill.- The Rockford IceHogs sank the Peoria Rivermen’s three game unbeaten streak in a 2-1 game at the Rockford MetroCentre Wednesday night.
The win also halted Rockford’s four-game winless streak (0-3-1-0).
The IceHogs struck first on the power play. Off the face-off from the right circle, the Hogs had a 5-on-3 for two seconds and Ben Smith dished it back to Jeff Taffe. With the fourth skater for Peoria getting back on the ice, Taffe glided over the slot and blasted a shot past Ben Bishop for the 1-0 lead at 7:02.
Rockford added on to the lead at 16:29 in the second. Brian Connelly passed the puck to Evan Brophey racing up the ice. Brophey skated down the right boards and with defenders closing in, wristed one past Bishop’s glove to make it 2-0.
In the third, Peoria came within one but it was too little too late. The Rivermen found themselves with a power play late in the game and pulled Bishop in favor of the extra attacker. Peoria put the puck on net and with a big scuffle in front of Alec Richards, Graham Mink snuck the puck to the back of the net to make it 2-1 at 19:58 and ended Richards’ shutout bid. T.J. Hensick and Nathan Oystrick factored in on the play with the helpers.
Richards turned away 34 of 35 shots to earn the win and Bishop stopped 25 of 27. Both clubs went 1-for-7 on the power play.
Taffe extended his point streak to eight games (5g-5a), marking a season-high for any IceHogs skater.
Next Home Game: Friday, Feb. 18 vs. Chicago Wolves: The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. The First 1,000 fans to the game will receive an IceHogs poster courtesy of Comcast, Q 98.5 and Medicine Man.