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By: Mike Peck
Photo by Kevin Orris
Hogs fall 3-2 in Peoria

Peoria, Ill.-Rookie winger Brandon Pirri notched two goals and Hannu Toivonen made 32 saves, but it wasn’t enough as the Peoria Rivermen slipped by the IceHogs 3-2 with a late third period goal at Carver Arena.

After Rockford and Peoria went scoreless in the game’s first 19-minutes, both teams tallied in the final minute of period one. Chris Porter lit the first lamp at 19:01 of the frame moments after Peoria’s power play came to an end. Porter picked up a Nicholas Drazenovic pass and beat Hannu Toivonen over the right shoulder in traffic.

Just 39-seconds later Rockford tied the game at 1-1. Brian Connelly threaded a pass to Pirri who beat Rivermen goalie Ben Bishop on a breakaway for his sixth goal of the season at 19:40.

Peoria reclaimed their lead in the second period off of a Rockford turnover. TJ Hensick picked off a Ryan Stanton pass and fed Anthony Peluso in front of Toivonen for his fifth goal of the year at 2:51.

In the third period, Pirri would tie the game with his second marker of the night. Igor Makarov was able to free a puck to Mathis Olimb in traffic and the winger found Pirri in the slot and he pounded home his seventh goal of the season at 5:52 of the final frame.

But moments after Rockford failed to convert on their fifth power play of the night, Peoria grabbed a lead that they would hold up. Hensick picked up a Graham Mink rebound and knocked in the game winner at 16:54 for his 11th goal of the season.

Rockford held Peoria off the board on five power plays. The IceHogs peppered Bishop with 37 shots, but the Rivermen backstop halted 35 of them.

Next Home Game: Saturday, Jan. 29 vs. Milwaukee Admirals: The puck gets on the ice at 7:05 p.m. The IceHogs match-up with the Milwaukee Admirals for a fifth time this season and third at the Rockford MetroCentre. The first 2,500 fans to the game on Saturday will receive an IceHogs winter hat courtesy of Rasmussen College, FOX 39 and ESPN 1380.

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