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By: Mike Peck

Hartman, Johns mark first pro points

Abbotsford, B.C.-
Three first period goals in the first 10:02 on Saturday proved too much for the Rockford IceHogs to overcome. The Hogs fell 5-3 to the Abbotsford Heat, dropping both games in British Columbia on the weekend.

An early power play opportunity put Abbotsford up 1-0 on Saturday. In transition, Max Reinhart spotted Corban Knight on the left wing and the forward stayed hot burying his 18th goal of the season, and fourth on the weekend against Rockford, at 4:33.

Two more quick strike goals ended Kent Simpsons night. Derek Smith's point blast at 9:29, his sixth marker on the season, beat Simpson short side. Then Blair Jones jammed a loose puck under Simpson and in at 10:02 making it 3-0.

In the second period, Rockford reduced the Heat lead to 3-1. Rookie winger Ryan Hartman found Garret Ross on the left wing and Ross hacked his 15th goal of the season past Joni Ortio at 16:33. The assist marked the first pro point for Hartman while.

The Heat began the third period with a power play and capitalized two seconds after it expired. Sven Baertschi got to a loose puck in front of Jason LaBarbera and knocked home his 13th goal at 1:25 of the third.

But the IceHogs countered to make it a 4-3 game with two goals midway through the period. Adam Clendening slapped in his 12th goal of the season at 6:40, set up by Hartman and Phillip Danault.  The goal by Clendening set a single season IceHogs record for goals by a d-man.

Rookie defenseman Stephen Johns then got in on the scoring act. Johns picked up a Theo Peckham pass on the right wing in the neutral zone, skated behind the Abbotsford goal where he tucked his first career pro goal under Ortio at 10:06, to make it 4-3.

A late power play gave the IceHogs an opportunity to tie the game, but the Heat clamped down on Rockford's man advantage then cinched the game with an empty net goal from Brett Olson at 19:28.

Rockford outshot the Heat 26-20 and held them to just 39 shots over the two game weekend, but allowed 11 goals.

Next Home Game: Friday, April 11 against the Milwaukee Admirals. The puck will drop at 7 p.m. as these two Midwest Division rivals meet got the last time at the BMO and last time on the regular season. Also, Goodwill will be collecting donations at Friday's game and every fan that donates will receive one (1) free voucher to Rockford's April 18th game.

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