Rockford, Ill.- After being down by two goals twice in the game, the Rockford IceHogs fought back and earned a thrilling 5-4 shootout win over the Grand Rapids Griffins in front of a sold out BMO Harris Bank Center.
Down 4-2, the IceHogs pulled within a goal of Grand Rapids when Brad Winchester snuck a goal past Petr Mrazek with goaltender Antti Raanta on the bench for the extra attacker to make the score 4-3 with 2:10 left in the game.
Then Phillip Danault tied the game up for the IceHogs with just 1:11 left in regulation. After a Terry Broadhurst shot resulted in a rebound in the slot, Danault came storming in from the blue line to put the puck behind Mrazek for his first pro goal, sending the game to overtime.
After a scoreless overtime, the game was still tied 4-4 and went to a shootout. Maxim Shalunov, Jeremy Morin and Viktor Svedberg converted their attempts for the IceHogs while Gustav Nyquist stashed his attempt in the back of the net for Grand Rapids. Svedberg’s goal ended the shootout and the Hogs took the win, improving their record to 4-2-0-0 while the defending Calder Cup champion Griffins drop to 2-1-1-1.
Grand Rapids jumped out to a 2-0 lead at the first intermission. Griffins center Landon Ferraro picked up a turnover and leaned in to put the puck over Raanta’s shoulder at 1:51 for his first goal of the season. Then at 18:43, Griffins left wing Triston Grant put Grand Rapids ahead 2-0. Grant found himself in the right place at the right time as a Raanta rebound kicked out to the winger and he shoveled it home.
Despite the Hogs slow start, they were able to make it a one-goal game on their first home goal of the season. With 13:27 left in the second period, right wing Jimmy Hayes stuck a backhanded shot past Mrazek.
With just 2:31 remaining in the second period, the IceHogs went on a 5-on-3 power-play after Griffins goaltender Mrazek took off his own helmet and the officials called a delay of game. Just 11 seconds later, left wing Morin tied the game at 2-2 for the first 5-on-3 goal of the season for the IceHogs.
Right wing Teemu Pulkkinen made sure that the Griffins went into the second intermission with a lead as he blasted a shot from the top of the face-off circle that found the back of the net with just 0.6 seconds remaining in the second frame, making it 3-2.
After a Joe Gleason interference call put Grand Rapids on the power-play, Pulkkinen netted his second of the game at 10:13 of the third period to extend the Griffins lead to 4-2.
Next Home Game: Saturday, Oct. 26 vs. Charlotte. Game time is 3 p.m. The first 5,000 fans to the BMO will receive a 2013-14 IceHogs magnet schedule sponsored by T6. Fans are also invited to come dressed for Halloween as the IceHogs will be hosting a Trick-or-Treat version of "Skate With the Hogs" following the game.