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GR 4, RFD 2

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 4 at Rockford IceHogs 2

Dec. 27, 2013

— A power-play goal by Calle Jarnkrok in the third period lifted the Grand Rapids Griffins to a 4-2 win over the Rockford IceHogs on Friday at the BMO Harris Bank Center.

With the win, the Griffins improved to 22-7-1-1 and extended their lead in the Midwest Division to 46 points, a position they’ve held since Nov. 3. The IceHogs (15-15-3) dropped to fourth place in the division after being passed by the Chicago Wolves.

Neither team could find the back of the net in the opening period, but a quick goal 1:06 into the second period by Cory Emmerton put Grand Rapids on the scoreboard. He skated the puck into the IceHogs’ zone, weaved in between Rockford players and snapped the puck into the upper left corner of the net from the lower left circle.

The Griffins maintained their lead until the IceHogs evened the score at 12:47. A scramble surrounded Tom McCollum’s crease, and Jared Nightingale managed to jam the loose puck past a sprawled McCollum for the tying tally.

Mitch Callahan pulled the Griffins back on top at 16:20 of the middle period. Mac Carruth cleared the puck along the boards, but Jordin Tootoo gained control of the puck before it left the Rockford zone. He dropped a pass to Callahan, who scored from the top of the right circle before Carruth could return to his net.

At 5:27 of the third period, the IceHogs once again tied the game. Garret Ross sent a cross-ice pass in the Griffins’ zone to Brandon Pirri for the top-shelf goal.

About ten minutes later at 15:58, the Griffins regained the lead and hung onto it until the end of the game. Grand Rapids was on the power play after Theo Peckham was sent off for being the third man in during a chippy exchange between Tootoo and Bobby Shea. From the blue line, Adam Almquist slid a pass to Jarnkrok, who patiently held the puck before scoring the game-winning goal on a wrist shot.

Carruth was pulled in the final minutes for an extra skater, and McCollum stood on his head after facing a flurry of shots by the IceHogs. One save resulted in Emmerton controlling the rebound and carrying the puck down the ice to score on an empty net, his second tally of the game. McCollum finished with 40 saves on 42 shots.

At the other end of the ice, Carruth stopped 26 of 29 shots.

The Griffins return to action at 5 p.m. on Dec. 30 against the Toronto Marlies for the franchise’s first-ever outdoor game. The game will take place at Comerica Park in Detroit, Mich., as part of the Hockeytown Winter Festival.

Three Stars: 1. GR McCollum (W, 40 saves); 2. RFD Pirri (goal); 3. GR Jarnkrok (game-winning goal)

Griffins Game Rewind
WOOD Radio Highlights: Emmerton first goal Nightingale goal Callahan goal Pirri goal Jarnkrok goal Emmerton second goal
Official Game Report


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