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By: Mike Peck
IceHogs winger Mike Blunden had a goal and two assists on Saturday in Rockford's 4-2 win at Iowa. (Photo by Jim Orlando)

Back and forth game ends in Hogs favor

Des Moines, Iowa- Leads were hard to hold for the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday night.  Rockford did, however outlast the Iowa Stars 4-2 at the Wells Fargo Arena to run its team season best winning streak to six straight. 

The IceHogs took their third lead of the game in the third period just after a power play expired.  Center Colin Fraser disposed a Mike Blunden centering pass past Iowa goalie Tobias Stephan at 11:45 for his 12th goal of the season.

Rockford then tacked on an insurance goal at 17:39.  On a 3-on-1 breakaway, Fraser set-up Petri Kontiola for his second goal of the night and 12th of the season, making it 4-2 and icing the game for the Hogs.

A strong fore-check put Rockford on the board first at 12:42 of the opening stanza.  Kontiola picked up a centering feed from Fraser and ripped it past Stephan for his first marker of the night. 

Rockford later got themselves into some penalty problems and it cost them in the second period.  At the 2:19 mark of the second frame, Marius Holtet beat Corey Crawford on the power play for his eighth goal of the season. 

Still short-handed the IceHogs would regain the lead.   Blunden tipped in a Martin St. Pierre pass for his 12th goal of the season at 4:05.  But that second period lead wouldn’t last as the Stars again capitalized on the power play, this time a 5-on-3.  Iowa winger Konstantin Pushkarev shelved his seventh tally of the season to tie the score at the second intermission.  

Rockford was outshot 36-24 and Crawford was stout between the pipes again making 34 saves.  Crawford picked up his AHL best 23rd win of the season. 

Next Home Game:  Wednesday, Jan. 23 vs. Peoria Rivermen.  Game time is 7:05 p.m.  The Hogs and Rivermen meet for the first time in Rockford at the MetroCentre.  The game is presented by Jose Cuervo.  Wednesday’s match-up is the fourth of eight on the season.

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