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By: Nate Haeni
Photo by Greg Hamil
11/24/2010 5:00 PM - Rockford, Ill.- The Rockford IceHogs continued to struggle to find ways to score and fell to the Lake Erie Monsters 4-2 in front of 4,704 people on Thanksgiving Eve at the Rockford MetroCentre.

The Hogs have only found the back of the net eight times in the past six games.

Lake Erie got things started when Patrick Rissmiller chipped in his second goal of the season with the Monsters on a 5-on-3 advantage at 11:39 in the first period. Julian Talbot fired the puck at Hannu Toivonen as he turned it away but the Hogs couldn't clear it and Rissmiller sent it to the back of the net to make it 1-0. Jonas Holos also registered an assist on the play.

The Monsters struck again a few minutes later and extended their lead to 2-0 at 14:07 in the first with a marker by Ryan Stoa. Talbot sent a pass from behind the net to Stoa and he buried it. Ben Walter also factored in with an assist.

Then at 2:37 in the second period, a turnover by the IceHogs in their defensive zone led to another Monsters’ tally. Curtis Fraser put pressure on the Hogs and kept the puck in the Monsters zone. He then sent a cross-ice feed for Stoa to bury his second goal of the game and make it 3-0.

Early in the second period, Jeremey Morin gained the puck in the offensive zone and held back to let Jeff Taffe move past him, then he slipped a short pass onto Taffe's stick. Taffe fired a high wrister over the glove of Jason Bacashihua at 3:56, putting the IceHogs on the board to make it 3-1.

Lake Erie put it back to a three-goal lead at 4-1 when the IceHogs gave up their first short-handed goal of the season. Ray Macias picked up a loose puck and found Mike Carman streaking towards the net. Carman stick handled right and then to his back hand and slipped the puck underneath a sprawling Toivonen at 19:13 in the third period.

Late in the final period after a clearing attempt by the IceHogs moved the puck up to the far blue line, Kyle Hagel raced to gather the loose puck. With speed and momentum he continued down the boards and waited till the last instance to push a one timer pass across to Ben Smith who netted a hard shot past Bacashihua to bring the Hogs back at 4-2.

Toivonen was tagged with the loss after making 26 saves and Bacashihua picked up the win turning away 28 chances.

Rockford was held off the board in four power play opportunities and Lake Erie tallied on 1-of-6 advantages.

Next Home Game: Saturday, Nov. 27 vs. Peoria Rivermen.  Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m.  The first 2,500 fans will receive a Jack Skille Bobblehead courtesy of Dental Dimensions and WIFR.

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