IceHogs Outburst Sinks Rivermen
ROCKFORD, IL - Three goals in a stretch of 1:55 to open the second period was more than enough for the Rockford IceHogs in a 4-3 win over the Peoria Rivermen on Friday night at the Rockford MetroCentre. Corey Crawford made 30 saves to pick up the win while the Rivermen lifted Joe Fallon in less than 23 minutes of work.
The Rivermen remain seven points behind fourth-place Milwaukee for the final playoff spot in the West Division after the Admirals lost to the Grand Rapids Griffins 6-3.
Rockford's quick three turned around what had been a 2-1 Rivermen lead to start the second. Matt Keith at 1:01, Shawn Lalonde at 2:35 on the power play, and Bryan Bickell at 2:56 set the IceHogs ahead 4-2. It was the first professional goal for Lalonde who was playing in his third game since signing an ATO with Rockford.
Fallon was lifted after the fourth goal and finished with 12 saves on 16 shots while he took the loss. Ben Bishop entered in relief and was a perfect nine-for-nine in 36:50 to close out the game.
Pete MacArthur gave the IceHogs their first lead of the game just 2:06 after the opening faceoff. Following a giveaway, MacArthur flipped a backhand shot under the glove of Fallon for his eighth goal of the year.
The Rivermen closed the period with two of their own on tallies from Cam Paddock and Adam Cracknell. Paddock tied the game at 12:17 by blowing around the outside and racing to the near post. His backhand shot slid between the legs of Crawford and into the net for his ninth. Cracknell snapped one past Crawford at 17:53 from the right circle after a drop-pass from Julian Talbot.
Cracknell added his second of the game at 17:49 of the third to bring the Rivermen to within one but Crawford held Peoria off the board as they emptied their goal for the extra attacker in the game's dying minutes. It was the third time this season, and second in the last five games, in which Cracknell has scored twice in the same game.
Both teams had chances on power plays in the second with Rockford missing out on 4:58 of consecutive power-play time with 62 seconds of five-on-three. The Rivermen had a 30 second five-on-three as well and finished the game 0-for-6 on the power-play.
The game featured three fights including the first of the year for both Derek Armstrong and Jonas Junland. Ryan Reaves collected his team-leading 16th fighting major of the season.
Friday was the final regular season meeting between the Rivermen and the IceHogs and Peoria finished with a 5-3-0-2 record against Rockford.
Peoria returns to Carver Arena on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. to begin two-game series with the Houston Aeros. It's History of Hockey Night and the Rivermen will wear special Peoria Prancers jerseys that will be auctioned off after the game to benefit the Children's Hospital of Illinois. For tickets or more information stop by the Rivermen office, call 309-676-1040 or visit www.rivermen.net/tickets.
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