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By: Mike Peck
Hogs backstop makes 44 saves to lead Hogs to 3-1 win

Milwaukee, Wis.-
Through 40 minutes of hockey on Friday night, the Rockford IceHogs found themselves down 33-13 on the shots on goal board. But because of Carter Hutton, the game was tied 1-1.

The IceHogs rewarded their goalie, who made 44 saves in the game, with two third period tallies to pull away from the Admirals in the final frame in a 3-1 win at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.

Tied 1-1 entering the third period, Rockford was able to tack on two goals to take the lead. Brandon Pirri put Rockford on top with a two-on-one transition goal started by Matt Fornataro. Fornataro cleared a puck to Ben Smith who fed Pirri on the right wing where he fired home his 22nd goal of the season over the glove of Atte Engren.

Rockford didn’t find themselves on their first power play Friday until 5:39 into the third period. Shortly after, the Hogs were on a 5-on-3 and took advantage. Rostislav Olesz found Jeremy Morin on the bottom of the right faceoff circle and the winger beat Engren five-hole for his 13th goal on the campaign and a 3-1 edge.

The IceHogs tightened up the defense the rest of the way and Hutton turned away all 12 third period Milwaukee shots to seal the win.

Rockford tallied the first marker on Friday with Ryan Stanton’s first goal of the season. Stanton fired a shot from the left point and it deflected off of Milwaukee defenseman Teemu Laakso and past Engren and in at 12:27.

In the second period Milwaukee evened the score 3:53 into the frame. Juuso Puustinen pushed a loose puck to Victor Bartley on the left faceoff circle and the d-man fired his seventh goal of the season past Carter Hutton into an open Rockford net.

Rockford killed off all four Milwaukee power plays on Friday, include six minutes worth in a 6:17 stretch spanning the second and third period. The IceHogs were 1-2 on the advantage in the win.

Next Home Game: Sunday, March 11 vs. Milwaukee: The 13th annual IceHogs jersey auction is Sunday night as Rockford takes on the Admirals. Puck drop is at 5:05 p.m. This year’s theme is “Rock Vegas” and the first 1,500 fans in attendance will receive a deck of IceHogs poker cards sponsored by Lou Bachrodt Auto Mall. There will be a live auction on the ice after the game for fans to win the special “Rock Vegas” jerseys worn by the IceHogs. The band “Dirty Fishnet Stockings” will perform before, during and after the game.

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