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.
Next Home Game: Friday, Jan. 18 vs. Peoria Rivermen. Beginning at 7:05 p.m. the IceHogs and Rivermen meet in a Illinois Lottery Cup Matchup and for the first time since Nov. 21 at the BMO Harris Bank Center. It marks the fourth of twelve meetings between the two foes on the campaign.
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