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Photo by Greg Hamil
11/26/2010 1:00 PM

Article By: Mike Peck

Rookie goalie makes 40 saves in 3-2 shootout win

Grand Rapids, Mich.
-Rookie goalie Alec Richards made 40 saves and then four more in the shootout to lead the Rockford IceHogs to a 3-2 shootout win over the Grand Rapids Griffins at the Van Andel Arena on Friday.

Rockford is now 9-0-0-1 against the Griffins in the last 10 head-to-head meetings, but eight of those games have been decided by just one goal.

Kyle Beach had an opportunity to give Rockford an early 1-0 lead on Friday with a penalty shot attempt, but the rookie winger was snuffed out by Griffins goalie Jordan Pearce 2:22 into the opening frame.

Brandon Pirri would give Rockford the one-goal advantage, however, at 10:51.  Pirri picked up a Ryan Stanton pass as he hopped out of the penalty box and Pirri’s shot from on top of the left face-off circle deflected off of a sprawled out Doug Janik and past Pearce for Pirri’s fifth goal of the season.

In the second period the IceHogs extended their lead to 2-0 with a power-play goal. Nick Leddy’s shot from the left point was redirected past Pearce at 12:12 by Ryan Potulny for his fourth goal of the campaign. Brian Connelly also figured in with an assist.

Grand Rapids cut Rockford’s lead in half when Greg Amadio’s blast from the point was re-directed past  Richards by Francis Pare at 14:26 for his fifth tally of the season.

Doug Janik tied the game at 2-2 in the third period just as a 5-on-3 power play expired. Janik snuck a point shot through traffic and under Richards at 4:27 on the power play for his second tally of the year.

In the shootout Richards stymied all four of Grand Rapids’ shooters while Pirri and Beach tallied on Pearce to give the IceHogs a much needed extra standings point.

Rockford went 1-3 on the power play while Grand Rapids was 1-6.

Next Home Game: Saturday, Nov. 27 vs. Peoria Rivermen.  Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m.  The first 2,500 fans will receive a Jack Skille Bobblehead courtesy of Dental Dimensions and WIFR. The game is the fifth overall on the season between the IceHogs and Rivermen.