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LUCKY HOGS


ROCKFORD, Ill. – On Wednesday the Grand Rapids Griffins finished off a seven-game stretch in which they met the Rockford IceHogs for four meetings, this time suffering a 5-3 setback at the Rockford MetroCentre. 

The IceHogs’ have put together a 9-1-0-1 run in their last 11 games and with the win they are now tied with the Texas Stars for first place in the West Division. Grand Rapids (21-27-0-1) will look to snap a seven-game skid on Friday when they welcome the Toronto Marlies to Van Andel Arena for a 7:00 p.m. face off.

Rockford (29-19-2-3) struck first when Bryan Bickell slammed home Evan Brophey’s pass just 2:14 into the contest. Brophey made the score 2-0 when he grabbed Danny Bois’ drop pass at the hash mark and cashed in on a slap shot at the 11:20 mark. 

Grand Rapids answered at 16:36 of the second period when Justin Abdelkader picked up his first goal since his return from the parent club. At the end of a dominating shift in which the Griffins sustained offensive zone pressure for nearly 45 seconds, Abdelkader picked up the puck in the slot and patiently coasted across the goal mouth to fire a shot through a net-front crowd.

The IceHogs regained their two-goal lead with a power play tally at 4:18 of the third period. Former Griffin Mark Cullen connected with Pete MacArthur on the right doorstep for a quick tap-in, putting Rockford ahead by a 3-1 count.

Again the Griffins answered, this time with a power play goal of their own at 9:21. From the top of the left circle Jeremy Williams took a wrist that that made its way under the glove of Corey Crawford, who was screened by Jamie Tardif.

Rockford’s two goals in 57 seconds put the game out of reach for Grand Rapids. Bracken Kearns scored on a backhander from the bottom of the right circle at 11:55 and Cullen cashed in on a net-front one-timer at the 12:52 mark.

 Down 5-2 with 1:45 remaining, Evan McGrath sent a brilliant pass to Francis Pare from the right corner, setting up a one-time shot that finalized a 5-3 game.

Tomas McCollum provided a remarkable 29-save performance for Grand Rapids, while Crawford stopped 24 shots in the Rockford win.

Three Stars: 1. RFD Bickell (1 goal, 2 assists); 2. RFD Cullen (1 goal, 1 assist); 3. RFD Brophey (1 goal, 1 assist).

Griffins Game Rewind
AHLlive Video Highlights
ESPN Radio Highlights: Abdelkader goal   Williams goal   Rockford goal
Official Game Report

 



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