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By: Mike Peck
Photo by Jim Orlando
Rookie net-minder picks up first career AHL shutout

Abbotsford, BC-
Heading into Friday’s game the Rockford IceHogs had a league worst 5.00 goals against average and a dismal penalty kill rate of 33.3-percent.

Rookie goalie Alec Richards helped turn those tides as he made 27 saves in a 5-0 win over the Abbotsford Heat at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.

Richards key stops included several in the first two periods while Abbotsford skated on the power play. The IceHogs held the Heat to 0-5 on the man advantage while converting two of their own five power-play opportunities.

Evan Brophey gave Rockford an early 1-0 lead. Ryan Stanton’s slap shot from the point was blocked down by Leland Irving, but Brophey was there to clean up the rebound at 6:24 for his second  goal of the season. Ben Smith was also credited with an assist.

Rob Klinkhammer extended Rockford’s lead early on in period two. The IceHogs winger picked up a loose puck behind the Heat goal and with Irving down, Klinkhammer banked his second goal of the season off of his left pad and in at 2:27.

Rookie winger Jeremy Morin made the score 3-0 when he followed up his own rebound  at 7:32 of the middle stanza and flipped his second goal of the campaign over the right shoulder of Irving while Rockford skated on a power play.

Jeff Taffe finished Rockford’s three-goal second period when Brophey hit him with a pass as he hopped out of the penalty box and the veteran center beat Irving five-hole on a breakaway at 16:11, making it 4-0 at the second intermission.

The IceHogs tacked on another power-play tally in the third period when Brandon Pirri knocked in his first career professional goal. Brian Connelly’s shot from the blue line was redirected by Pirri past Irving at 4:08 of the final frame making it 5-0.

Both teams had 27 shots on goal and Irving was saddled with the loss.

Next Home Game:
  Friday, Oct. 22 vs. Abbotsford Heat. Game time is 7:05 p.m. The first 1,000 fans into the building will pick up an IceHogs Poster #1 in a series of six, compliments of Comcast, Q98.5 and Medicine Man.

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