GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 4 at Rockford IceHogs 5 SO
Oct. 19, 2013
Rockford, Ill. — Despite a Grand Rapids Griffins two-goal lead heading into the final minutes of the game and a 38-save performance by Petr Mrazek, the Rockford IceHogs struck with a late rally and strong shootout performance to win, 5-4, on Saturday at BMO Harris Bank Center.
The Griffins grabbed the lead early in the game, as it took Landon Ferraro only 1:51 into the game to get on the board when he intercepted a pass in the IceHogs right circle and scored on a wrist shot.
Their lead was threatened when the IceHogs were awarded a power play goal about five minutes later. However, the referees reviewed the play and concluded the puck hit the post and never entered the net, and they ultimately waived the goal off to keep the Griffins (2-1-1-1) on top.
At 18:43 of the first period, Triston Grant took advantage of a screen in front of Antti Raanta and shot the puck from the slot into the bottom left corner of the net, tallying the Griffins second goal of the night.
The IceHogs (4-2-0-0) opened up scoring in the middle frame at 6:33. Jimmy Hayes picked up a rebound from Klas Dahlbeck and buried it before Mrazek was able to get to the other side of his net.
With 2:31 remaining in the period, Mrazek lost his helmet but after the whistle was blown, he was called for a delay of game. His penalty coupled with Jeff Hoggan’s slashing call about a minute earlier put Rockford on a five-on-three advantage. It took the IceHogs only 11 seconds into the power play to tie the game with a laser from the point by Jeremy Morin.
When it appeared the teams would be heading into the third period knotted 2-2, Teemu Pulkkinen rocketed a last-ditch shot in the final second of the middle frame. The shot found its way past Raanta, marking Pulkkinen’s first goal this season. At 10:13 of the third period, Pulkkinen struck again for Grand Rapids with his second tally of the night, a power play goal.
Nearing the final minutes, the IceHogs pulled Raanta for the extra skater, and the decision almost immediately paid off for them. Brad Winchester backhanded a goal from the top of the crease at 17:50.
Just 59 seconds later, a rebound landed on the stick of Phillip Danault and he tied the game and forced an overtime, the Griffins third in four games.
After a scoreless five-minute overtime period, the teams headed to a shootout. Gustav Nyquist tallied Grand Rapids only shootout goal, while three IceHogs found the back of the net: Maxim Shalunov, Morin and Viktor Svedberg.
Raanta stopped 35 of 39 shots, and Mrazek turned away 38 of 42.
The matchup marks the first of ten meetings between the two teams this season.
The Griffins will take the ice again at 7 p.m. on Oct. 25 at Van Andel Arena against the Charlotte Checkers.
Three Stars: 1. RFD Morin (one goal, one assist); 2. GR Pulkkinen (two goals); 3. RFD Broadhurst (two assists)