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ROOKIES CARRY ROCKFORD TO SHOOTOUT POINT IN GRAND RAPIDS

Photo by Greg Hamil
12/14/2011 3:00 PM - Shaw nets two goals and Lavin accumulates three points in 5-4 SOL

Grand Rapids, Mich.- Another game, another shootout for the Rockford IceHogs. And for the second-straight game, the IceHogs failed to pick up the extra point, falling 5-4 to the Grand Rapids Griffins at Van Andel Arena.

The shootout was the third in as many games for Rockford who played in just four shootouts over a calendar year from Dec. 10, 2010 to Dec. 9, 2011.

In the shootout, Grand Rapids knocked off Rockford 2-1 in seven rounds with Landon Ferraro getting the winner for the Griffins. Brandon Pirri was Rockford's only lamp lighter in the extra session.

Willie Coetzee put Grand Rapids up 1-0 just 1:07 into the opening period. Coetzee redirected an Adam Estoclet shot from the right face-off circle past Carter Hutton for his sixth goal of the season.

Rockford responded at 4:00 of the first period. Andrew Shaw picked up a Joe Lavin rebound and tucked it behind Joey McDonald for his eighth goal of the season. Pirri won the face-off and marked the secondary assist.

Lavin later notched his first career professional goal. Pirri held the puck behind the Griffins goal and the center found Lavin on the right circle where he beat MacDonald at 8:20 of the first period.

Rockford had three first-period power-plays and failed to convert on all of them. After the third advantage expired, Francis Pare hopped out of the penalty box and picked up a Tomas Tatar pass and blew his fourth goal of the season past Hutton at 14:58 to tie the game at 2-2.

In the third period Coetzee put the Griffins back on top with his second goal of the game. Coetzee picked up an IceHogs turnover and wristed his seventh goal of the season past Hutton at 1:43.

But for the second time on Wednesday, Shaw and the IceHogs came right back to tie the game. Ben Smith found Shaw open in front and the rookie winger slipped in his second marker of the night past MacDonald at 3:19 of the third.

Brandon Segal put Rockford back on top at 5:47 with his 10th goal of season. After Brett McLean won a draw in the Griffins zone, Lavin crossed a pass to his fellow d-man, Shawn Lalonde, who had his shot redirected by Segal and in.

Like the first period, Grand Rapids would tie the game with their second goal of the period. Lois-Marc Aubry found a puck loose in traffic in front of Hutton and flipped his fourth goal of the season in at 11:17 of the final frame to tie the game at 4-4.

Rockford outshot the Griffins 33-28 and Hutton made 24 saves in the shootout loss. The IceHogs power play continued to struggle going 0-6, but the Hogs penalty kill held the Griffins to 0-4.

Next Home Game: Friday, Dec. 16 vs. Peoria. Game time is 7:05 p.m. The Rivermen return to the BMO Harris Bank Center for an Illinois Lottery Cup matchup for a fourth time this season. The first 1,500 fans (21 and older) into the building will receive a voucher for an IceHogs pitcher, courtesy of Applebee’s.

For every goal that the Rockford IceHogs score in 2011-12, IceHogs head coach Ted Dent will make a donation to children’s cancer research. BMO Harris Bank will also make a donation for every goal to the “BMO Harris Bank Goals For Grades”