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ROCKFORD EXTENDS WIN STREAK TO FIVE-STRAIGHT CONTESTS

By: Mike Peck
Photo courtesy of the Lake Erie Monsters
Hogs wipe out Lake Erie’s eight game streak with a 3-2 win

Cleveland, Ohio-
One streak had to go on and one had to end on Wednesday night. Fortunately for the Rockford IceHogs, it was their winning streak that continued as they topped the red hot Lake Erie Monsters 3-2 at the Quicken Loans in Cleveland.

The win for Rockford ended the Monsters franchise record eight-game winning streak while Rockford has now won a season best five-straight tilts.  Last time Rockford was in Lake Erie on March 5, they ended the Monsters franchise record eight-game home winning streak by a score of 3-2, the last loss for Lake Erie before Wednesday.

Rockford controlled the first six minutes of the game, but it was Lake Erie who grabbed the first goal. Julian Talbot snapped home his 12th goal of the season over the shoulder of Hannu Toivonen at 5:59 of the opening frame on Lake Erie’s first shot of the contest.

The Monsters goal didn’t slow Rockford’s momentum, however, as they tied the game at 16:23 of the first period. Defenseman Garnet Exelby picked up a Brandon Pirri pass and slapped his third goal of the season past Jason Bacashihua. Rob Klinkhammer also assisted on the goal to extend his point streak to seven-straight games.

In the second period Lake Erie reclaimed the lead. With Rockford pinned in their own zone, Matt Ford deflected a Talbot shot over the shoulder of Toivonen for his 22nd goal of the season just 1:33 into the second frame.

With time winding down on a power play, Jeff Taffe tied the game with a blast at 17:03 of the second stanza.  Ben Smith helped Rockford hold the offensive zone and slid a pass down the left wall to Klinkhammer. Klinkhammer found Taffe in the slot and the winger hammered home his team-leading 26th goal of the season, making it 2-2.

The IceHogs claimed their first lead of the game 4:57 into the third period. Chris DiDomenico found Brian Connelly trailing a transition rush and the d-man cranked his ninth goal of the year past Bacashihua to put Rockford on top 3-2, the eventual game winner.

Toivonen extended his personal road point streak to six-straight games (4-0-1-1) making 23 saves, while Bacashihua made 24 saves in the loss.

Next Home Game:
Friday, April 8 vs. Lake Erie Monsters: The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. Rockford returns home after a five-game, 12-day road swing to take on the Lake Erie Monsters for the sixth and final time this season. The IceHogs will be celebrating Hammy’s birthday with several area mascots as the team opens the final weekend of the 2010-11 season.




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