Sheahan's Two Goals Push Griffins Past IceHogs
ROCKFORD, Ill. - Led by Riley Sheahan's two goals, the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Rockford IceHogs 6-3 Wednesday at the BMO Harris Bank Center. The victory snapped an eight-game losing streak at Rockford's arena dating back to January 2, 2010.
The Griffins (21-10-1-2) scored the opening goal as Triston Grant set up Brent Raedeke at 7:10 of the first period. From behind the goal, Grant made a quick pass to Raedeke who was waiting in front. Goaltender Carter Hutton followed Grant along the near side but couldn't recover in time to stop the shot, as Raedeke tallied his second goal of the season.
Sheahan scored a power play goal 51 seconds after the Griffins' first, giving Grand Rapids a 2-0 lead midway through the first period. A shot from the point by Chad Billins missed the goal and ended up on the stick of Sheahan, who was ten feet off of the right side of the goal. Sheahan quickly moved the puck past Hutton, recording his ninth point in his last nine games.
The IceHogs (17-17-1-1) scored their first goal of the game off of a Griffins turnover at 18:13 of the second period. Martin St. Pierre knocked down the Griffins clearing attempt and quickly made a pass to Jeremy Morin on the left wing circle. Morin snapped his shot high into the left hand corner of the goal, beating Petr Mrazek with a short side goal.
Ben Smith tied the game at two on a power play goal at 7:52 of the second period. Ex-Griffin Brett Lebda fired a shot wide of the net, and Smith redirected it past Mrazek on the left side of the goal.
Sheahan scored his second goal of the night and 11th of the season to put the Griffins back on top. Gustav Nyquist and Sheahan were on a two-on-one breakaway when Nyquist skated toward the goal and stopped before slipping the puck to Sheahan coming down the middle. Sheahan steered the puck past Hutton to give Grand Rapids a one-goal lead at 18:54 of the second period.
The Griffins opened up a two-goal lead in the third period, as Tomas Tatar scored his 14th goal of the season. After killing off an IceHogs power play, Tatar scored a wraparound goal, sneaking the puck under Hutton's pad from a difficult angle at 5:44 of the final period.
Less than one minute later, Jeff Hoggan mirrored Tatar's wraparound goal with one of his own to give the Griffins a commanding three-goal lead. Hoggan took a centering pass behind the goal and popped the puck over Hutton on his wraparound goal at 6:28 of the third period.
Landon Ferraro scored the Griffins sixth and final goal of the night on a power play goal at 9:54 of the third period. Ferraro received a centering pass from Nathan Paetsch in front of the goal and whistled the puck just from just inside the right wing faceoff circle past Hutton. With the goal, Ferraro improves to a five-game point streak, breaking his previous career high of four.
The IceHogs notched the final goal of the night, as Peter LeBlanc picked off a pass at the left wing circle and fired a quick strike past the glove of Mrazek.
Hutton had 28 saves while Mrazek earned the win behind 27 saves.
The Griffins will stay in Rockford for their next game, as they will have a rematch with the IceHogs Friday at 8:05 p.m. EST.
Three Stars: 1. GR Nyquist (three assists); 2. GR Sheahan (two goals); 3. GR Billins (two assists)
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