02/22/2013 9:04 PM
GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 3 at Rockford IceHogs 4
Feb. 22, 2013
ROCKFORD, Ill. – In their last of eight meetings with Rockford this season, the Grand Rapids Griffins fell to the IceHogs 4-3 on Friday at BMO Harris Bank Center.
Jimmy Hayes led Rockford with two goals in the victory, scoring a total of seven goals and 12 points in eight games against Grand Rapids this season. The loss also marked the first time this season the Griffins have lost three straight on the road.
Tomas Jurco put the Griffins (29-17-2-2) on the scoreboard early in the first period. The right wing dumped the puck into the zone and goaltender Carter Hutton left the crease to retrieve it. Hutton lost the puck behind the net and Jurco reached back from behind the goal and put it in at 2:22 of the opening period.
Rockford (26-25-1-1) tied the score at one as Hayes potted his first of the night. Martin St. Pierre took a long shot and Hayes quickly picked up the rebound that was kicked away by Petr Mrazek at 7:47 of the first period for his 17th goal of the season.
Mathieu Beaudoin gave the IceHogs their first lead of the game with 50 seconds left in the opening period. Beaudoin collected a pass from Brandon Svendsen on the right wing circle, and snapped a shot low to the ice between Mrazek’s legs.
The Griffins scored the tying goal at 2:29 of the second period. Francis Pare received a great feed from Riley Sheahan and slammed it past Hutton to tie the game at two, one second after a Griffins power play expired.
Rockford reclaimed the lead as Hayes scored his second of the game just 24 seconds later. Jeremy Morin fought through traffic and his shot rebounded to Hayes, whose goal gave the IceHogs a 3-2 lead.
A last-second goal put the IceHogs up by two heading into the final frame. Brandon Pirri scored at the 19:59 mark, just as the green light signaling the end of the period came on behind the Griffins’ net. Upon further review, it was ruled a good goal and proved to be the insurance that Rockford needed.
Pare pulled the Griffins within one goal at 12:10 of the final period. Max Nicastro’s shot deflected off of the goal post and Pare cleaned up the rebound to cut the IceHogs’ lead to one.
However, that was the only goal the team would score against Hutton in the third period, and Rockford skated away with the victory. Hutton made 28 saves for the IceHogs, while Mrazek stopped 31 of 35 for Grand Rapids.
The Griffins return to Grand Rapids this weekend, hosting the San Antonio Rampage at 7 p.m. tomorrow in the first of a two-game series at the Van Andel Arena.
Three Stars: 1. RFD Hayes (two goals); 2. GR Pare (two goals); 3. RFD Morin (two assists)