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Brandon Pirri caps IceHogs overtime win

by Rockford IceHogs / Chicago Blackhawks

The offense came alive for the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday as they battled back from a 3-1 deficit to knock off the Grand Rapids Griffins 6-5 in overtime at Van Andel Arena.

Rockford battled back from a 3-1 deficit and in the process earned their first third-period come-from-behind victory of the season.

The IceHogs started the comeback late in the second period. Shawn Lalonde sent a shot at Jordan Pearce in the Griffins goal, but Marcus Kruger deflected in his third goal of season at 16:39 of the second period.

In the third frame, Rockford would strike twice to take their first lead of the night. Jimmy Hayes blocked a point shot from the Griffins and beat Pearce on a breakaway at 5:02 for his third goal of the season.

Then at 5:40 Kyle Beach would give Rockford their first lead of the game. Brandon Pirri won a puck battle to Pearce's left and found Beach in the slot where the winger would blast in his first goal of the season.

After a Ryan Stanton penalty, it would take the Griffins just seven seconds to tie the game back up. Brendan Smith blew his first goal of the season past Carter Hutton at 6:05 making it a 4-4 game.

A Rockford power play would give them an opportunity to retake the lead. Andrew Shaw would take advantage when he batted in a Martin St. Pierre feed at 16:18 for his first tally of the season.

But the Griffins came back at 16:13 to tie the game and eventually force overtime. Tomas Tatar fired Grand Rapids third power play tally of the night past Hutton, tying the game 5-5.

It took Rockford just 58-seconds to grab the extra point in overtime. Pirri followed his own shot that went over the top of the Griffins goal and snapped off his third goal of the campaign under Pearce for his second career OT winner.

For the second straight game Rockford coughed up an early first period goal. On Saturday, Francis Pare sniped his third goal of the season over the glove of Carter Hutton 1:03 into the contest. Then at 2:57, Gustav Nyquist did the same, beating Hutton high for his fourth tally on the campaign.

Rockford reduced their deficit back to a goal with a goal off of a faceoff at 16:34. Pirri won a draw to the left of Jordan Pearce, and Shawn Lalonde's shot from the right point was redirected over the glove of Pearce for his first of the season.

Trevor Parkes, however, extended Grand Rapids lead back to two. The winger picked up a Brian Lashoff pass and backhanded his second goal of the season over the shoulder of Hutton at 7:22 of the middle frame.

Rockford was outshot 33-29 and Hutton earned the win, making 28 saves. The IceHogs went 1-4 on the power play while the Griffins were 3-5.

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