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By: Kate Munson
Photo by Greg Hamil

Morin nets two goals in the win

Rockford, Ill. – A back-and-forth contest tilted in the Rockford IceHogs favor as they knocked off the Peoria Rivermen 5-4 at the BMO Harris Bank Center in front of 4,002 fans on Wednesday.

Rockford struck early with a tally just 56 seconds into the game. Defenseman Adam Clendening fired a shot from the right face off circle that hit Peoria netminder Jake Allen’s glove and trickled in to put the IceHogs up 1-0. Ben Smith and Jimmy Hayes had the assists on the play. 

Then, with the IceHogs shorthanded, Brandon Saad extended the lead to 2-0 at 12:00 of the opening frame. Saad picked off a pass at the opposite blueline, raced into the Peoria zone on a breakaway, and deeked out Allen to flick the puck into the wide open net.

The Rivermen responded to Rockford’s early scoring with three goals in six minutes to close out the first period.

Just after a Rivermen power play expired, the IceHogs couldn’t clear the puck out of their zone and Phil McRae took advantage, scoring his fourth goal of the season at 13:17. 

Peoria tied it up at 2-2 on a blast from the blueline by Ian Cole that found the back of the net at 15:04 in the first.

Then, with 45 seconds left in the first stanza, Peoria took a 3-2 advantage off the stick of Jaden Schwartz. From behind the Hogs net, Cody Beach dished a pass for Schwartz to tap in, giving Peoria their first lead. Alec Richards was summoned to replace Hutton in goal to open the middle frame.

Late in the second frame, Rockford responded with two goals 25 seconds apart to regain control.

Hayes fired a puck at the Peoria net that hit Martin St. Pierre, who was positioned in front, and deflected it to the back of the net to tie the game at 3-3 at 17:32.

Jeremy Morin gave Rockford the lead back with his sixth lamp-lighter of the season at 17:57. Clendening sent a shot that Allen blocked but Morin collected the rebound and sent it in to put the IceHogs in front 4-3.

In the third period, Morin would strike again on the power play to give Rockford some insurance that they would later use. Morin finished off a give-and-go with Marcus Kruger and fired his team-leading seventh goal of the season past Allen at 7:20.

Peoria wouldn’t go away quietly, however, as they made it a one-goal game at 19:45. Sergei Andronov cleaned up a Mark Cundari rebound for Richards’ lone blemish on the night.

Richards earned his second win of the season, making 16 saves for Rockford while Allen stopped 30 IceHogs shots.

Next Home Game: Tuesday, Nov. 27 vs. Texas Stars. Game time is 7:05 p.m. The IceHogs and Stars face off for the first time in 2012-13. It’s a WXRX Dollar Day as fans can get hot dogs, sodas, beers, and companion tickets for just $1 a piece.

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