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By: Mike Peck
Photo by Mark Newman

Rockford earns a point in 3-2 OT loss

Grand Rapids, Mich.- Twice on Friday night the Rockford IceHogs were able to overcome a deficit against the red hot Grand Rapids Griffins, but in the end, the Griffins pulled out a 3-2 overtime win at Van Andel Arena.

Despite controlling the first five minutes of the game on Friday, Rockford found themselves down 1-0 early on in period one. After a Jared Nightingale penalty at 5:27, Jeff Hoggan cleaned up a rebound in front of Kent Simpson at 5:52 for his ninth goal of the season.

Philippe Lefebvre and the IceHogs tied the contest before the first intermission. Brandon Mashinter found Lefebvre on top of the left faceoff circle in the Griffins' zone and the winger fired home his third marker of the season over the shoulder of Tom McCollum at 16:31 to make it 1-1.

Another power play in the second period gave the Griffins a chance to reclaim the lead and they seized the opportunity on Rockford's feeble penalty kill. Hoggan knocked in his own rebound at 3:52 to make it a 2-1 contest just 11-seconds into the man advantage.

On their sixth power play of the game in the third period, Rockford finally capitalized to tie the contest at 2-2. Brad Winchester tipped home a Bobby Shea slapshot for his ninth goal of the season at 5:35 of the final frame.

Rockford outshot Grand Rapids 13-3 in the third stanza and Brandon Pirri rang the post late in the period, but the game ended up in overtime where the IceHogs dropped their third contest of the season in the extra hockey, all on the road.

Simpson finished the contest with 31 saves while McCollum earned the win with the same number of blocks.

Next Home Game: Saturday, Dec. 21 vs. Milwaukee Admirals. Puck drop is 7 p.m. when the IceHogs take on their division rivals, the Milwaukee Admirals. The first 2,500 fans will receive a Bryan Bickell bobblehead, the first of three in the Champions series out this season, courtesy of Dental Dimensions.

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