04/09/2011 10:05 PM
By: Nate Haeni
Rockford, Ill.- With their final home game of the season on Saturday night the Rockford IceHogs held off the Grand Rapids Griffins 4-2 in front of 6,153 fans at the Rockford MetroCentre.
Photo by Greg Hamil
Rockford closed out the home portion of their schedule riding a five-game home winning streak and the team is now four games above .500 (37-33-4-5) for the first time this season.
The IceHogs got the scoring started as Mathis Olimb notched a shorthanded marker to put Rockford up 1-0. David Gilbert pushed the puck up to Olimb on a breakaway and he made a nice move to flip in his ninth goal of the season at 4:33 in the opening frame.
The Griffins responded to tie the game up at 1-1 less than a minute later. Ilari Filppula dished the puck for Jamie Johnson to fire in his 12th goal of the season at 5:11. Tomas Tatar also factored in with an assist.
Then, Grand Rapids took the 2-1 lead when Francis Pare snuck the puck by Alec Richards at 11:18 in the first period. Pare was set up by Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist.
The lead didn't hold for long as the IceHogs locked it back up at 2-2 with a tally by Rob Klinkhammer. Jeff Taffe found Klinkhammer in transition and he sent the puck to the back of the net at 13:40. Brian Connelly registered an assist on the play.
Rockford regained the advantage when Philippe Paradis scored his first professional goal. Kyle Beach found Chris DiDomenico in front of the net. DiDomenico sent the puck over to Paradis and he backhanded it over a sprawling Jordan Pearce to put the IceHogs up 3-2.
After Olimb went to the box for a hooking call late in the game and the Griffins with the extra attacker, Taffe picked up a loose puck in the IceHogs zone and sent it the length of the ice into the empty net to ice the game and give Rockford a 4-2 win.
Richards picked up his 17th win of the season after stopping 34 shots and Pearce was tagged with the loss turning away 26 shots. The IceHogs failed to convert in both of their power play chances and the Hogs held the Griffins off the board on five power plays attempts.
Season Tickets On Sale For 2011-12: It'll be a long summer without IceHogs hockey and season ticket packages for the 2011-12 season are now on sale. To find a ticket package that quenches your hockey thirst, call (815) 847-6399.