HOGS POWER THROUGH FIRST WIN OF 2008-09

By: Chris Etheridge
IceHogs and Flames open up at the MetroCentre

Rockford, Ill.- The power play statistics show the story of Friday's 2008-09 Opening Night game between the Rockford IceHogs and Quad City Flames.

All four of Rockford's goals in the 4-2 win came on the man advantage as the IceHogs finished 4-for-9 in their first game of the season, while Quad City could not put a point on the board in their first nine power plays and finished 1-for-11.

"It was a good game for us, except we had way to many penalties," said Kontiola, who finished with two goals and an assist. "But it just seemed like we played half the game under the penalty kill."

The two teams combined for 76 minutes on 32 whistles.

"We're happy that we were able to go 10-for-11," Peters said. "But some of those penalties are definitely avoidable. We took a penalty after the whistle and we took a couple of (offensive) penalties and a bench penalty.  But we will get sharper and when we get shaper we'll be able to play more guys and play five guys."

After a scoreless first period, the IceHogs took a 1-0 lead thanks to a Petri Kontiola power-play goal in the second period. The center picked up the rebound off of goalie Matt Keetley's pad and poked it into the back of the net at 7:12 in the second period. Tim Brent and Troy Brouwer had the assists.

But Kris Chucko put a blast past Corey Crawford at 17:04 to tie the game with assist from Brett Palin and Dan Ryder. Then Chucko found the back of the net on the man advantage, assisted by Matt Pelech and Adam Cracknell, at 7:25 in the second period to give the Flames a 2-1 advantage.

But the IceHogs responded with two power play goals of their own. The first came from Kontiola at 8:21, with a helper from Pascal Pelletier, and the second from Pelletier, with helpers from Evan Brophey and Brent.

Brouwer scored the IceHogs final power-play goal at 19:20 in the third with helpers from Aaron Johnson and Kontiola.

Goaltender Corey Crawford returned to Rockford with 27 saves in his first win of the season, including shutting out the Flames on 14 attempts in the first period.

"He was outstanding," Peters said. "He's an elite goaltender and is very good technically and was very good on the penalty kill. On any team, your gaoltender has to be your top penalty killer and he was tonight."

Keetley had 25 saves on 29 opportunities.

In their 100th meeting with Quad City, the IceHogs improved to 44-46-0-10 and 24-23-0-6 at home in the ten-year history between the two teams.

"Everyone wants to win on their opening night," Peters said. "But we have a tough task tomorrow night; we have to go on the road and play this team again."

The IceHogs head out to Quad City on Saturday to finish the second half of the home-at-home series in the I Wireless Center. Listen to the game on 1330 WNTA or on the Web at www.icehogs.com.

Next Home Game: Sunday, Oct. 12 vs. Iowa Chops.  Game time is slated for 4:05 p.m.  The IceHogs and Chops meet for the first of 10 times this season on a Sunday Fundae at the MetroCentre courtesy of Culver’s, Pepsi, Rockford Library, U Gotta Jump, Comcast , Comcast and 101 WQFL.  Also, Patrick Star from the hit Nickelodeon series "SpongeBob Squarepants" will be making a guest appearance to visit with IceHogs fans!



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