Rockford, Ill. – A third period scoring surge helped lift the Rockford IceHogs to a 5-2 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins, as the Hogs also welcomed their two millionth fan to the BMO Harris Bank Center.
Knotted at 1-1 through the two periods, Jeremy Morin ignited the Hogs 1:48 into the final frame when he wristed in his twelfth goal of the season to give Rockford the 2-1 advantage.
However, Grand Rapids answered moments later when Tomas Tatar finished a 2-on-1 break to even the score at 2-2.
But at the 11:42 mark, Rockford broke the tie for good when Ben Smith delivered a tape-to-tape pass to Brandon Saad to give the Hogs a 3-2 lead.
Three minutes later, Philippe Paradis padded the lead to 4-2 with his first goal of the season when he banged in a rebound past Griffins goaltender Petr Mrazek.
Jimmy Hayes was able to extend the lead once again, sweeping in his second power-play goal of the night at the 16:58 mark.
Hayes was able to put Rockford on the board while on the power play in the opening frame when he put home a rebound two minutes before the period expired.
But just 27 seconds into the first stanza, Rockford suffered a goal within the first 2:16 to the Griffins for a fifth time in six meetings. Carter Hutton was able to stop a Tatar shot, but Gustav Nyquist was there to pick-up the rebound to give Grand Rapids the early 1-0 lead.
Hutton finished the night stopping 20 of Grand Rapids 22 shot attempts, while Rockford peppered Mrazek with 33 shots on goal.