Photo by Greg Hamil
Rockford, Ill. – A sell-out crowd of 6,219 was treated to a wild game at the BMO Harris Bank Center on Saturday night, but the Rockford IceHogs fell to the Grand Rapids Griffins 11-6 on Pink in the Rink night.
The two clubs combined for an IceHogs single-game record 230 penalty minutes in the contest and the 11 goals allowed and 17 total markers also set Rockford franchise marks.
With the Hogs down 5-2 five minutes into the second period, Kyle Beach tried to pull Rockford back into the contest. Philippe Paradis fired a shot in on Petr Mrazek and Beach was there to deflect it to the back of the net at the 5:49 mark to bring the score to 5-3.
Minor penalty problems plagued Rockford in the second period and at the 11:54 mark in the middle frame, Landon Ferraro added to the Griffins lead to make it a 6-3 game with a power play tally.
Then, on the ensuing faceoff an all out bench brawl broke out between both sides, resulting in eight ejections for the IceHogs and five for Grand Rapids, along with 202 total penalty minutes handed out to both clubs. Goaltenders Carter Hutton and Mrazek were both involved in the altercation, forcing Alec Richards to mind the net for Rockford and Tom McCollum to move between the pipes for the Griffins.
After sifting out all the penalties, the Griffins were awarded a two-minute power play, but it was the IceHogs and Jimmy Hayes that capitalized to bring the score to 6-4 with a shorthanded goal.
However, Rockford couldn’t hold on to the momentum, as Joakim Andersson scored on the same Grand Rapids power play to increase their lead to 7-4. Tomas Jurco piled on with his fifth tally of the season at 16:34 to push Grand Rapids ahead, 8-4.
The Hogs did their best to spark another comeback to start the third period. Defenseman Ben Youds tallied just a minute into the frame to pull Rockford back to 8-5, and then Brandon Pirri chipped in a goal at 3:22 to bring the Hogs back within a pair at 8-6.
With the IceHogs down to just 11 skaters after the brawl, Grand Rapids strung off three straight goals over the final 10 minutes of the contest to end any chance of a comeback. Nathan Paetsch scored at the 10:05 mark before back-to-back Mitch Callahan goals to give him a hat-trick and push the score to the eventual 11-6 final.
The 230 combined penalty minutes distributed between the IceHogs and Griffins broke the previous single game record of 213 on March 2, 2008, against Providence. The IceHogs themselves were dished out 139 PIMs on the night, topping the previous team-high of 108 on March 9, 2007, against Muskegon. The team’s AHL era single-game high was previously 96 PIMs.
Next Home Game: It’s Kids Day at the BMO Harris Bank Center on Monday as the Rockford IceHogs and Texas Stars square off in a 1:05 p.m. tilt. The first 1,000 kids ages 14 and under will receive a drawstring bag courtesy of Hog Wash.