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IceHogs snap Marlies' home winning streak with 6-3 victory

NHL.com @NHL

TORONTO - Judd Blackwater scored twice and Adam Pineault had three assists as the Rockford IceHogs ended the Toronto Marlies' seven-game home winning streak with a 6-3 victory Saturday.

Although it was Doug Gilmour bobblehead day at the Ricoh Coliseum, it was the Marlies who were left shaking their heads. The home side's lack of discipline and missed defensive assignments allowed Rockford to silence the crowd of 5,437 with three first-period goals, and Toronto was unable to recover.

Rockford (26-19-0-4) won its third consecutive game, while the Marlies (23-18-2-5) lost for the first time in three contests.

The IceHogs opened the scoring midway through the first on Evan Brophey's 10th goal of the season. Brophey took a drop pass from Adam Pineault and fired a shot from the high slot that squeaked through Toronto goaltender Justin Pogge's five-hole.

Rockford added to their lead just over two minutes later, with Brophey's line again providing the damage. Mike Radja capped off a three-way passing play by banging a low shot past a sliding Pogge.

Shortly afterward, Kris Newbury attempted to spark his teammates by fighting Rockford's Mike Brennan. But Newbury was assessed an extra two minutes for roughing, and 42 seconds later Blackwater deposited a one-timer behind Pogge for a 3-0 lead.

IceHogs netminder Corey Crawford did his part with several critical first-period saves. He was especially impressive with the game still scoreless and the Marlies on a power play in the opening minutes, stretching his right pad out to deny Jiri Tlusty on a rebound chance from the edge of the crease.

The Marlies found their offensive touch in the second period, after Darryl Boyce was bloodied by a high stick from Jake Dowell. Tim Stapleton sent a high wrist shot over Crawford's shoulder six minutes into the period, and with Toronto still on the power play, Bates Battaglia jammed home a rebound at the 7:12 to close the gap to one goal.

But the IceHogs were able to halt the rally. Niklas Hjalmarsson scored on a point shot on a Rockford power play, and Blackwater followed with his second of the game to restore the visitors' three-goal advantage.

Tlusty scored his ninth of the season late in the third period, before Tim Brent ended the scoring with an empty-net goal in the final minute.

The game was a chippy affair, with the teams combining for 88 penalty minutes and 10 fighting majors. The IceHogs scored on two of their four power plays, while Toronto connected twice on seven chances.

Crawford stopped 28 of 31 shots to improve to 14-8-2 on the season. Pogge made 15 saves in falling to 16-14-4.

Notes: Boyce returned to the game after being cut above the eye on a high stick Dowell. ... Marlies defenceman Anton Stralman was scratched after being recalled by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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