GR 11, RFD 6
GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 11 at Rockford IceHogs 6
Jan. 19, 2013
ROCKFORD, Ill. – The Grand Rapids Griffins set a franchise record for goals and penalty minutes as they defeated the Rockford IceHogs 11-6 on Saturday at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
Mitch Callahan recorded a hat trick in the victory, as his third goal of the night marked the first time the Griffins have ever scored 11 goals in a game. Additionally, the Griffins became the first team to score 11 goals since Chicago (11-5 W over Peoria) on Dec. 30, 2005, and the first team to score 11 on the road since Providence (14-2 W over Syracuse) on Nov. 25, 1998.
The 17 combined goals were just one off the franchise record for total offense (18, set on Nov. 27, 2010 at Chicago), and Callahan was the only player to score more than one goal, as 15 different players combined for the 17 goals.
The record-breaking night was overshadowed by a bench-clearing brawl in the second period that resulted in the most-penalized game in the AHL this season. The teams combined for 230 penalty minutes, which topped the previous high of 152 between Birmingham and Syracuse on Oct. 20.
Rockford (20-18-1-1) jumped on the scoreboard first with a power play goal at 3:57 of the first period. Just seconds after the power play began, Dylan Olsen tipped in a shot from the left point by Ben Youds. The goal was Olsen’s seventh point of the season, five of which have come against the Griffins.
But the IceHogs didn’t have much time to celebrate as the Griffins (23-12-2-2) opened up a four-goal period less than 30 seconds later. Francis Pare sent a backhand, centering pass to Riley Sheahan in front of the goal and Sheahan’s shot found the upper corner of the net for the tying score at 4:21 of the first.
Jeff Hoggan gave the Griffins a one-goal lead less than two minutes later, scoring his sixth of the year. Luke Glendening intercepted a clearing attempt and Adam Almquist’s shot from the blue line deflected right to Hoggan. The Hope, British Columbia, native tipped in Almquist’s rebound at 6:11 of the first period.
After assisting on the previous goal, Almquist scored one of his own on a power play goal at 8:16 of the first period. Gustav Nyquist found the defenseman on the right side of the goal, and Almquist gave the Griffins their third goal in a span of 3:55.
After being pulled from the goal, Rockford’s Carter Hutton returned just in time for the Griffins’ fourth straight goal at 11:54 of the first period. On a two-on-one play, Callahan scooped up a pass from Hoggan and snuck his shot inside the crossbar, capping off a four-goal run for the Griffins.
Rockford finished the first period with a goal of their own as Peter LeBlanc snapped a shot from the left wing circle past Petr Mrazek. The Griffins had a three-on-two rush but misfired on a pass, giving the IceHogs a two-on-one chance of their own. LeBlanc cashed in on the advantage at 18:25 of the first period to cut the Griffins lead to 4-2.
Gleason Fournier gave the Griffins their second power play goal of the game at 4:38 of the second period. The defenseman pounced on a rebound from Almquist’s shot and popped it by Hutton to give the Griffins a 5-2 lead.
Rockford answered just over one minute later as Phillipe Paradis fired a shot through a maze of players and Kyle Beach cleaned up the rebound. Beach’s score at 5:49 of the second cut the Griffins’ lead to two goals.
Landon Ferraro scored the third power play goal of the game at 11:54 of the second period. The goal gave the Griffins a 6-3 lead and was Ferraro’s 16th of the season, giving him his 50th point and first place in total goals scored.
Just four seconds after Ferraro’s goal, both benches emptied for a brawl that ended in 13 players being ejected for a total of 192 penalty minutes.
The teams exchanged goals following the skirmish. Jimmy Hayes responded from by scoring a shorthand goal off of a rebound at 13:06 of the second period, and Joakim Andersson answered less than one minute later on a power play goal to give the Griffins a 7-4 lead.
Tomas Jurco gave Grand Rapids an 8-4 lead off of a pass from Glendening from the right wing circle at 16:34 of the second period.
The IceHogs opened up the third period by scoring two straight goals. Youds scored a power play goal exactly one minute into the final period, recording his first goal of the season. Brandon Pirri scored the sixth goal of the game for the IceHogs at 4:22 of the third period to cut the lead to 8-6.
But the Griffins’ offense was too strong as Nathan Paetsch scored a shorthanded goal, and Callahan scored his second goal of the game to give the Griffins a dominating 10-6 lead. Callahan sealed the game with his third goal of the night at 17:39 of the final period.
For Rockford, Hutton recorded 15 saves and Alec Richards recorded eight. Mrazek had 13 saves in the first 31:46 of the game while Tom McCollum finished the game with 17 saves.
The Griffins return to Grand Rapids on Wednesday as they host the Oklahoma City Barons at 7 p.m. before hosting Houston for back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday.
Three Stars: 1. GR Andersson (goal, three assists); 2. GR Hoggan (goal, four assists); 3. GR Callahan (hat trick)