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HARTIGAN'S HAT SHOT DOWN


ROCKFORD, Ill.
– Despite a Mark Hartigan hat trick and three-point night from Mark Cullen, the Grand Rapids Griffins suffered a 6-5 shootout loss to the IceHogs in their first ever visit to the Rockford MetroCentre Friday night.

On Saturday, Grand Rapids returns to Van Andel Arena looking to earn its first home win of the season against the Toronto Marlies at 7 p.m. EST.

The IceHogs struck first at 12:04 into the contest during a goal mouth skirmish resulting in Michael Blunden pounding the puck past Jimmy Howard. Shortly after at the 15:45 mark, Rockford took a 2-0 lead when Jack Skille cut into the Griffins zone along the side boards and slid the puck through Howard’s pads.

The Griffins bounced back and tied the game on a pair of goals from Hartigan, as he sent a backhand shot under the crossbar at 19:00 during a power play off assists by Garrett Stafford and Jonathan Ericsson to pull the Griffins within one heading into intermission. Subsequently, Hartigan tied the game at 4:41 into the middle stanza by collecting a rebound and sending a shot past Corey Crawford. Kyle Quincey and Jamie Tardif assisted on the goal.

Rockford’s Jake Dowell broke the tie at 9:07, but Cullen knotted the score once again at 14:36 during a two-on-one break in which he held the puck with great patience and ripped a shot by the goaltender on the stick side. But the matching scoreboard was short-lived, as Cam Barker notched the go-ahead goal at 15:07, before Dowell netted his second of the game just 45 seconds later by collecting a rebound in the slot and sliding it into an open net past a sprawling Howard.

Grand Rapids battled back during the third period, mounting a comeback that forced overtime, and ultimately a shootout. While on a power play, Carl Corazzini fed a pass through the goal mouth to Cullen, who scored his second of the night by snapping a one-timer into the goal at 6:33 to bring the Griffins within one. Hartigan then notched the equalizer and his hat trick at 15:12 by backhanding a loose puck into the goal from the back doorstep with a man-advantage. The tally marked the 37th hat trick in Griffins history and just the fifth time in 37 games the team did not win despite getting a hat trick from a player.

Howard was solid in his return to Grand Rapids with 41 saves on 46 shots faced and made two more during the shootout, where Corazzini and Evan McGrath scored for the Griffins. Crawford managed 34 saves on 39 shots in the crease for Rockford.

Griffins Game Rewind
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Official Game Report


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