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RICHARDS SHINES IN GRAND RAPIDS

By: Mike Peck
Photo by Mark Newman
12/04/2009 10:00 AM - Hogs win fourth straight

Grand Rapids, Mich.- A quick call to Toledo found Alec Richards back with the Rockford IceHogs and in the IceHogs lineup on Friday night. Richards clearly answered the call as the rookie netminder handed the Grand Rapids Griffins their second straight home loss, leading Rockford to a 2-1 win at the Van Andel Arena.

Richards made 33 saves for his second career AHL win. His other AHL victory came a week prior, in the same building, against the same opponent. Against all other goalies at Van Andel this season, the Griffins are 9-1-0-0.

With the win Rockford has now won four straight games and three straight on the road.

Both teams tallied in the opening frame on Friday night Rockford struck first in transition when Mark Cullen finished off a feed from Kyle Greentree at 9:04 for his team leading 12th goal of the season. Jassen Cullimore started the break and got a helper on the goal.

But just six seconds after a power play expired, Jamie Tardiff knocked in a rebound past Alec Richards off of a Kris Newbury slapshot at 12:49 of the opening frame to tie the score 1-1.

Rockford retook the lead in the second period when Evan Brophey picked up an errant Grand Rapids pass and knocked his own rebound past Thomas McCollum for his fourth goal of the season at 2:05.

After that, Richards took over for Rockford and turned away the rest of the Griffins shots including 15 in the third period.  Rockford also held the AHL’s second best power play unit to 0-6.  The IceHogs were held to a season low 18 shots on goal in the win.

Next Home Game:
Saturday, Dec. 5 vs. Lake Erie Monsters: Game time is slated for 7:05 p.m. A quick turnaround for Rockford has them back on home ice against Lake Erie for the first time this season. Saturday is the IceHogs Annual Teddy Bear Toss for charity. Fans are invited to bring new stuffed animals to the game and after the IceHogs score their first goal, fans can toss the stuffed animals onto the ice. Also, the first 2,500 fans to the game will receive an IceHogs Jersey Bag from Rockford Orthopedic, BOB FM and 23 WIFR.



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