A flurry of third period goals from the Rockford IceHogs was enough to defeat the visiting Peoria Rivermen at the BMO Harris Bank Center Sunday evening. The Hogs hung on to capture a 4-1 victory in an Illinois Lottery Cup matchup.
Despite a scoreless opening frame, it took just two minutes into the middle stanza for Jimmy Hayes to open the scoring. On a pass from defenseman Joe Lavin, Hayes skated through the Peoria zone a zipped a wrist shot from the point past Peoria goaltender Mike McKenna for his 23rd tally on the campaign.
Then in the final period, Rockford rattled off three goals. The Hogs eventual game-winner came off of the stick of Martin St. Pierre. With the IceHogs captain located on the doorstep, St. Pierre swept in a rebound past McKenna at the 1:01 mark, giving him goals in three consecutive games.
Midway through the period, Peoria would figure out IceHogs goaltender Carter Hutton when Yannick Veilleux tallied with help from Brett Sonne and Jani Hakanpaa, cutting the Hogs lead in half, 2-1.
However, less than two minutes later, Rostislav Olesz' shot rang wide off the back boards but right to a net-crashing Brad Mills, who capitalized on the put-back effort and upping the Hogs lead to 3-1.
Hayes would put the nail in the coffin with McKenna pulled, the forward found Jeremy Morin in front of the goal, who tapped in the easy tally for the final goal.
Both squads stymied their opposition's man-advantage opportunities, with Rockford failing to convert on their four chances, while killing off Peoria's six.
Hutton made 20 saves to earn the victory his 24th victory on the campaign. The Hogs sent 31 shots in on net.
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