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WHEN PIGS FLY

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 1 at Rockford IceHogs 4

April 1, 2017

ROCKFORD, Ill. – Playing in his second professional game, William Pelletier scored twice and added a pair of assists to lift the Rockford IceHogs over the Grand Rapids Griffins by a 4-1 count on Saturday at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
 
Brandon Mashinter also contributed three helpers as the IceHogs (24-34-9-3) netted four goals against the Griffins (43-21-1-4) for the first time in 10 regular season meetings while Jeff Glass blocked 36 shots to earn the victory and third-star accolades.
 
Despite dropping three consecutive games in regulation for the first time this season, the Griffins remain one point above Chicago in the Central Division standings with a game in hand following the Wolves’ 5-2 loss versus Cleveland. Grand Rapids continues its three-game road trip on Tuesday against the Manitoba Moose. Puck drop from the MTS Centre is scheduled for 8 p.m. EDT.
 
Rockford drew first blood 8:31 into the opening period when Pelletier found Kyle Baun all alone behind the defense at the top of the right circle for a hard wrist shot inside the left post.
 
Pelletier capitalized on the IceHogs’ first power play opportunity to give the hosts a two-goal advantage. Six seconds into a Matthew Ford interference minor, Erik Gustafsson’s feed from the right point redirected off the stick of Pelletier in the slot and into the top left corner for his first professional goal at the 11:20 mark.
 
Colin Campbell got the Griffins on the scoresheet near the halfway point of the hockey game when he stretched out his stick and tipped Dan Renouf’s centering pass into the top right corner for his seventh tally of the campaign.
 
Grand Rapids’ positive swing in momentum proved to be short-lived as Rockford answered back with 5:57 remaining in the middle period. After Campbell was upended at the side of his own net, the IceHogs regained possession and seconds later grabbed a 3-1 lead as Pelletier received a pass from Mashinter in the slot and fired a wrist shot inside the left post.
 
The IceHogs added a fourth goal 2:20 later on an eventual 2-on-1 when Luke Johnson’s shot from the lower part of the right circle sneaked between Eddie Pasquale’s right arm and body.
 
Rockford finished 1-for-3 on the power play while Grand Rapids came up empty in a 0-for-3 performance. Pasquale turned aside 25 shots in defeat.
 
Notes: Tylor Spink made his debut in a Grand Rapids uniform after signing a PTO earlier in the day...The Griffins finished 7-3 against Rockford in the regular season series, outscoring the IceHogs 35-18. In all three losses, the Griffins potted a single goal…Grand Rapids is also 7-3 in games played in Illinois…In 20 games following a regulation defeat this season, the Griffins have a 14-5-0-1 (0.725) record…Grand Rapids is 27-13-0-3 (0.663) when outshooting its opponent.
 
Three Stars: 1. RFD Pelletier (two goals, two assists); 2. RFD Mashinter (three assists); 3. RFD Glass (W, 36 saves)