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By: Mike Peck
The IceHogs fell 5-3 ito Norfolk on Friday. (Photo by John Wright)

IceHogs lose four straight in regulation for first time since joining the AHL

Norfolk, Va.- The Rockford IceHogs fell 5-2 to the Norfolk Admirals on Friday in their fourth straight loss.

It is the first time this season that the IceHogs have lost when scoring first and also their first loss when leading after the first period.

In the first frame, Tim Brent put through a power-play goal at 6:34 to give the IceHogs the 1-0 lead.  Pascal Pelletier and Petri Kontiola were credited with the assists.

Then a couple of scuffles resulted in two Norfolk skaters leaving the game early.  Brent Henley was ejected with a match penalty for head-butting following a fight with Sean McMorrow at 2:45.

Brandon Segal was also sent to the locker room at 2:59 with a game misconduct for checking from behind.  The former UHL IceHogs winger pushed Niklas Hjalmarsson into the boards near the IceHogs bench.  Of the eight penalties issued in the first for 47 PIMs, only one was a minor.

But the two teams settled down in the second, and Norfolk's Bracken Kearns tied the game at one with a drive from the point at 1:49. Matt Smaby and Daryl Boyle had the helpers.

Radek Smolenak gave the Admirals the lead when he snuck the puck past Corey Crawford at 13:59 on a power play.  Juraj Simek and Andrew Hutchinson had the assists.

Then Nathan Davis tied the game again with a smart play in front of the net.  The center worked the puck past Karri Ramo at 16:07 on a power play with a helper from Brent.

But then just 15 seconds later, the Admirals took the lead again with a rocket of a shot from Boyle, with an assist by Kearns.

Tempers flared again in the third period, but only after Norfolk put two more markers on the board.  Hutchinson put the Admirals up 4-2 at 12:44 on the power play and Zenon Konopka put the final nail in the coffin at 15:41.

Five different sets of players dropped their gloves in the game, resulting in a total of 15 major penalties.  The two teams combined for 108 penalty minutes on 24 infractions.

For the first time since Oct. 25 against the Norfolk Admirals, the IceHogs finished with two power play goals.  Both teams were 2-for-6 on the advantage.

Karri Ramo had 32 saves, while Crawford fell to 3-3-0 with 40 saves, the most for the fourth-year goalie this season and highest since Nov. 25, 2008 against Grand Rapids.

The IceHogs were again outshot, this time 45-34.  After taking a 16-11 advantage on the shot board in the first frame, they gave up 34 shots in the next two periods.

Next Home Game:  Wednesday, Nov. 12 vs. Milwaukee Admirals at 7:05 p.m. The Rockford IceHogs return home from a mini-road trip after a set of games in Norfolk, Virginia.  The IceHogs will be giving away three pairs of Chicago Blackhawks tickets and five pairs of penthouse suite tickets to see the Hawks inside the United Center.  Also, all students who show their student ID at the door can purchase the best available seat for just $10 up to an hour before the game.

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