Third period come-from-behind wins are nothing new for the Rockford IceHogs, but at this time of the season, they seem to be just a little more dramatic. The Hogs battled back from a sluggish start to knock off Peoria 5-4 at Carver Arena.
In the third period, down 4-3, a power play goal evened the score for Rockford. Jimmy Hayes set up Adam Clendening at the right point and the rookie blueliner blasted his seventh goal of the season past Mike McKenna through traffic at 7:28.
That set the stages for another Rostislav Olesz game-winning goal late in the third period. Martin St. Pierre knocked down a clear out attempt by Peoria and fired a shot in on McKenna where Olesz re-directed in his sixth goal of the season and second game-winning goal in as many nights, this one at 17:29 of the final frame.
The IceHogs earned their tenth third period come-from-behind victory of the season, most in the AHL.
It was a rough start for Rockford on Saturday as Peoria scored twice in the first 6:19. Derek Nesbitt put Peoria on the board when he picked up a T.J. Hensick pass on the right wing and fired his team best 25th goal over the shoulder of Henrik Karlsson at 4:23.
Shortly after, Andrew Murray led a rush up ice for the Rivermen and his shot deflected to Yannick Veilleux, and the rookie making his pro debut buried his first professional goal at 6:19 to make it 2-0.
The Hogs responded at 10:25 to make it a 2-1 game. Jeremy Morin found Brandon Pirri in the slot and the center fired his 20th tally of the season five hole past McKenna. But the Rivermen retaliated 47-seconds later to restore their two goal lead when Brett Sonne beat Karlsson under the glove at 11:12.
Olesz remained hot for the Hogs as he made it 3-2 at 13:45 of the opening frame. Olesz picked up a Shawn Lalonde rebound and beat McKenna for his fifth goal of the season.
A loose puck battle in the second period put Peoria up 4-2. Anthony Nigro was able to slip his fifth goal of the season around Karlsson at 11:38 after Jani Hakanpaa's shot was blocked down.
Rockford had three breakaways on McKenna in the second period on Saturday and St. Pierre was the only one to convert. St. Pierre was sprung by Ryan Stanton and beat McKenna over the glove at 14:21 to make it a 4-3 game at the second intermission.
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