Rockford, Ill. – Despite outshooting their opponent 42-30 the Rockford IceHogs dropped a 4-2 decision at the BMO Harris Bank Center to the Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday.
Rockford tied the game twice but couldn’t finish off the comeback against their Midwest Division leading rivals.
With the game tied at two goals apiece, Grand Rapids took the lead for the final time on the night with 4:02 remaining in the final frame. With his team on the power play, the Griffins Calle Jarnkrok fired the eventual game winning goal past Mac Carruth to set the score at 3-2.
Then, with the Hogs’ net empty and 32.6 seconds left, the Griffins sealed the 4-2 win with an empty netter by centerman Cory Emmerton for his second tally of the night.
After a scoreless first period, Grand Rapids began the scoring just 1:06 into the second period. Emmerton walked the puck in from the blue line and let a shot go from inside the right face-off circle that found its way past Carruth for the first goal of the game to break the scoreless tie.
The IceHogs tied the contest at 1-1 with 7:13 remaining in the second period. Defenseman Jared Nightingale notched his first goal of the season when he poked the puck past Griffins goaltender Tom McCollum in a scrum in front of the net.
That wouldn’t be the end of the scoring in the period however as Grand Rapids winger Mitch Callahan scored his team leading 12th goal of the campaign. Callahan rifled a shot past Carruth from behind the left face-off circle to put the Griffins back on top 2-1 with 3:40 left in the sandwich frame.
On a great combination of passes, the IceHogs tied the game once more with 14:33 left in the final frame. Rockford forward Byron Froese started the break as he found Garret Ross at the Griffins blue line who carried it in and sent the puck across ice to Brandon Pirri. The IceHogs center took the shot and found the upper corner of the net past McCollum to make it 2-2.
Carruth took the loss despite making 26 saves but he was bested by McCollum who stopped 40 shots on the night.
Next Home Game: Monday, Dec. 30 vs. Charlotte Checkers. Game time is 7 p.m. In the first contest on a Monday for the IceHogs, Rockford hosts Charlotte for the seventh time this season. The first 1,000 kids, 14 and under, will receive an IceHogs Youth Jersey courtesy of Rockford Orthopedic.