The Grand Rapids Griffins extended their winning streak to five games after defeating the Rockford Ice Hogs 5-3 Friday night, and the Peoria Rivermen 5-3 Saturday night.
Against Rockford, the Griffins got on the board first with a goal from Riley Sheahan at 2:10 of the first.
After Rockford scored two in the first, the Griffins answered with Brendan Smith's second goal of the year at 12:40, and Shehan's second of the game 16:42 to make it 3-2.
Smith added his second of the game at 4:37 of the second to make it 4-2. At 6:42, the Griffins had a chance to put it away with a long power play after Rockford's Kyle Beach was penalized for checking Smith in the head. Although Beach was ejected from the game, Rockford still cut it to 4-3 with a shorthanded goal from Jimmy Hayes 7:50.
The rest of the game remained scoreless until Francis Pare added an empty-netter to seal the win. Petr Mrazek got the start in goal for Grand Rapids, and stopped 27 shots for his fourth consecutive win.
In Saturday's tilt against Peoria, the Griffins had to fight back from a 3-1 deficit to win.
After the Rivermen jumped out to a 2-0 lead by the 3:00 mark in the first, the Griffins got on the board at 18:16 of the first courtesy of Landon Ferraro's fourth goal of the year.
Peoria made it 3-1 at 9:40 in the second after Mark Cundari fired a shot past Tom McCollum.
The Griffins cut it to 3-2 with Tomas Tatar's fifth goal of the year at 17:55.
Joakim Andersson would tie the game at 10:39 in the third with his fourth goal of the year.
It wasn't until 17:34 when the Griffins would take the lead for good with Pare firing a rebound past Peoria netminder Jack Allen for his sixth of the year. Ferraro added an empty-netter with two seconds left to seal the win.
McCollum made 22 saves to earn the win.
The Griffins will be in Cleveland Friday night for a game against the Lake Erie Monsters. Puck drop is set for 7:30 PM.
NOTES: Defenseman Chad Billins recorded his 12th assist of the year Friday night, giving him the AHL lead in assists…Gustav Nyquist left Friday's game early after a hard hit, but was able to play Saturday. He recorded two assists, and sits second in the league in scoring…After defeating Peoria, the Griffins moved to first in the Central Division with 16 points. They trail Lake Erie (18) and Charlotte (19) for the top spot in the Western Conference.
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