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The Rockford IceHogs celebrated early and often at the Abbotsford Heat's expense on Saturday.
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IceHogs feast on Heat, Pirri scores twice in 7-2 win

The AHL's stingiest defensive team got lit up in a big way on Saturday.

The Rockford IceHogs carved up the Abbotsford Heat, scoring five times in the first period en route to a 7-2 victory at BMO Harris Bank Center.

Kenndal McArdle, Brandon Pirri, Martin St. Pierre, Adam Clendening and Shawn Lalonde struck for the hosts during a disastrous 10-minute span in the opening frame for the Heat.

Goals by Ben Walter and Krys Kolanos got the Heat on the board, but Pirri and David Gilbert would tally for Rockford to end any hope of a rally.

The Chicago Blackhawks affiliate out-shot Abbotsford 38-23, and Barry Brust was in the cage for all seven goals. His backup was Tom Moro, a local Illinois resident who was signed to an amateur tryout contract to serve as an emergency backup because Heat goalie Leland Irving wasn't able to arrive on time after being reassigned by the Calgary Flames earlier in the day.

Abbotsford (26-19-7) has lost three straight games to open their current five-game road swing. They'll try to get back on track Sunday at the Milwaukee Admirals – their third game in three days.

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