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ALL BECAUSE OF ALIU


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.
– Akim Aliu’s penalty shot goal and second of the contest with 2:35 remaining proved to be the game winner, as the Rockford IceHogs handed the Grand Rapids Griffins a 3-2 loss at Van Andel Arena Saturday night.

The loss extended the Griffins’ losing streak to a season high six games, but on a lighter note the penalty killing unit held the opposition’s power play off the scoresheet for a season high fourth straight contest.

On Wednesday, the Griffins will face off against the IceHogs for the fourth time in a seven-game span during a rematch in Rockford at 8:05 p.m. EST.

Rockford outshot the Griffins 18-8 during the opening frame and netted the first goal at 8:59. During a goal mouth scramble, Thomas McCollum made two initial saves before Rob Klinkhammer popped in the third attempt.

The Griffins answered with just five seconds remaining in the period when Logan Pyett forced a turnover in front of the IceHogs’ net and fired a shorthanded tally past Joe Fallon to even the score at one goal apiece. The lamp-lighter marked Grand Rapids’ third shorthanded goal in its last seven games.

Aliu put Rockford back on top 2-1 at 5:22 of the second period with his first goal of the game, sliding a rebound from Bryan Bickell’s shot past McCollum from the hash marks for the only goal of the middle stanza.

The Griffins battled back during the third, out-shooting the IceHogs by a 13-3 margin and were able to knot the score 2-2 with 4:07 to play. Soaring into the zone, Patrick Rissmiller dumped the puck off to Andy Delmore at the left boards, who found Jan Mursak in front of the cage for a tip shot past Fallon.

Grand Rapids continued to pressure the IceHogs in the closing minutes, but a turnover in the offensive zone led to a breakaway chance for Aliu, who was awarded a penalty shot at 17:25 after being tripped up by a diving Andy Delmore on the play. Aliu capitalized on the free opportunity by threading the puck through McCollum’s pads, scoring what proved to be the game-winner for his team.

McCollum’s stellar performance ended with 29 saves while Fallon finished the night with 31.

Three Stars: 1. RFD Aliu (2 goals); 2. GR Mursak (goal); 3. RFD Klinkhammer (goal)

Griffins Game Rewind
GriffVision Video Highlights
GriffVision Video Interviews: Pyett
WOOD Radio Highlights: Pyett goal   Mursak goal   Rockford penalty shot goal
Post-Game Sound Bites: Pyett   Delmore   Fraser
Photo Gallery
Official Game Report

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