SLOW START THROTTLES ROCKFORD IN MILWAUKEE

By: Mike Peck
Photo by Scott Paulus
Rockford downed 5-2 against the Admirals

Milwaukee, Wis.-
For the second time in three games the Rockford IceHogs struggled to hold down an opponent in the first period. The Milwaukee Admirals put up five goals on the IceHogs in the opening frame on Sunday to pace them to a 5-2 win at the Bradley Center.

Milwaukee snatched the early 1-0 lead on Sunday.  Chris Mueller followed a Matt Halischuk rebound and flipped in his 15th goal of the season 3:08 into the contest.

The lead was extended to 2-0 at 7:29 when Alec Richards couldn’t locate a loose puck behind him. Milwaukee’s Mark Van Guilder cleaned up a loose puck sitting in the goal mouth for his fifth goal of the campaign.

Mueller then added his second of the night, temporarily chasing Richards from the game, when he beat the goalie short-side at 14:56.  Van Guilder matched Mueller’s first period goal total when he buried his second goal of the game on a delayed penalty at 15:33.

The hole grew deeper for Rockford as Milwaukee capitalized on the frames only power play. Jonathan Blum blasted his seventh goal of the season over Hannu Toivonen’s shoulder, sending him back to the bench, at 16:45.

Rookie winger Kyle Beach put Rockford on the board at 17:45 of the opening period. Beach picked up a puck on the left wing and sniped his 11th goal of the season over the shoulder of Mark Dekanich.

The five-first period goals allowed matched an IceHogs franchise record for most goals allowed in a single period.

Jeff Taffe cut the deficit to three when he knocked in his own rebound at 15:31 of the second period. Brandon Pirri found Taffe streaking to the net and the winger potted his team-leading 16th goal of the season, extending his point streak to seven straight games.

Richards was tagged with the loss after turning away 21 of 24 shots faced in the contest.

Next Home Game: Wednesday, Feb. 16 vs. Peoria Rivermen: The puck drops at 6:35 p.m. The Peoria Rivermen return to the MetroCentre for the third time in 2010-11. Every Wednesday night is a Taco Bell Dollar Day as fans can purchase $1 Vienna Beef hot dogs, Pepsi Products, Bud Select Drafts and companion tickets.



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