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Griffins Regain 1st Place in Fight Filled 4-2 Win
Ferraro's two goals too much for Rockford...
By Jason Kasiorek
December 9th, 2012

Grand Rapids and Rockford faced off in a battle for first place in the Midwest Division and what a battle it was. The Griffins scored early and often and survived a rough physical contest in order to defeat the Rockford IceHogs 4-2. Landon Ferraro led the way with a pair of goals (7,8) including a shorthander and the team also got singles from Andersson (6) and Smith (4). Netminder Thomas McCollum made 31 saves in the win, his 6th of the season.

Ferraro, missing his helmet, ripped a shot from the circle that cleanly beat Richards High, stick-side top open the scoring at 2:16 of the first. The Griffins were enjoying a 5-on-3 powerplay, when Tatar turned over the puck allowing St Pierre a shorthanded breakaway, but McCollum came up big and stoned him. Shaw finally got Rockford on the board exactly ten minutes after Ferraro's goal when he tipped in a shot from Olsen on the powerplay to make it 1-1. Shots on Goal: GR 11 - Rock 11.

Early in the period, Smith and Shaw dropped the gloves at center ice and both got their licks in until Smith appeared to hurt his hand and went down. Andersson gave Grand Rapids another lead when he fed the puck from behind the net to the late man Nyquist, but the puck went in without Nyquist touching it. Beach was roughing up Almquist behind the play and Ferraro went over to help and ended up getting worked over. Can't believe the officials didn't break it up sooner as it was very one-sided. Aubry rang a shorthanded chanced off the crossbar behind Richards. Tempers are flaring and Brookbank is stirring up trouble with late hits, etc. Lashoff went over to chat with him, but nothing happened. Rockford with a steady stream of players to the box but Grand Rapids has not been able to take advantage. Parkes made contact with Richards, drawing a meeting with Beach who has been ill-tempered all night. Dahlbeck tried to goad Callahan into a fight, and during the stoppage Aubry dropped the gloves with Flick and lit him up good. Pare took a puck to the face but didn't miss a shift. Shots on Goal: GR 14 - Rock 7.

Smith extended the lead to two just over a minute into the third when he fired a shot from the circle that hit a body in front and went in over Richards to make it 3-1. Rockford had a dangerous chance on the edge of the paint, but at the last second McCollum poked the puck away. Callahan knocked down Shaw right in front of the Griffins bench and touched off a scrum that included several players on the bench. This started a series of griffins penalties allowing Rockford several chances to get back into the game. Late in the period Grand Rapids was a man down with grant in the box for hooking. Richards went to the bench giving Rockford a 6-on-4 until Smith took a penalty setting up a 5-on-3. Then Andersson went to the box for hooking leaving GR in a big hole. Great stop by MCCollum who wouldn't take the bait and stayed with the shooter. Kruger finally picked up the puck, back door and lifted it into the top of the net to pull within one. Ferraro stole the puck and went deep with it firing a shot from the bottom of the circle almost at the goal line into the empty net to seal a 4-2 win. Shots on Goal: GR 8 - Rock 15. For the Game: GR 33 - Rock 33.

Pare - Sheahan/Ferraro - Jurco
Tatar/Grant - Andersson - Nyquist
Hoggan - Ferraro/Aubry - Parkes
Grant - Aubry - Callahan

Almquist - Lashoff
Paetsch - Smith
Billins - Evans

Starter: McCollum
Backup: Mrazek


Tatar - Andersson - Nyquist
Smith - Billins

Pare - Sheahan - Ferraro
Almquist - Paetsch

Andersson - Ferraro/Parkes
Paetsch - Smith

Aubry - Andersson
Evans - Lashoff

Sheahan - Callahan


What a great game! Lots of intensity, and seemed almost like a playoff game. The rematch between these two teams on New Years eve should be stellar.

Official Game Sheet