The Grand Rapids Griffins regained first place in the Midwest Division after defeating the Rockford Ice Hogs 4-2 Sunday.
Landon Ferarro opened the scoring for the Griffins at 2:16 of the first with his seventh goal of the season.
Rockford's Andrew Shaw answered with a goal at 12:16.
Joakim Andersson gave the Griffins the lead again at 1:35 of the second. Andersson's sixth goal of the season happened while he was attempting to pass to Gustav Nyquist in front of the net, but the puck bounced off of Rockford netminder Alec Richards and into the net.
Brendan Smith made it a 3-1 score with his fourth goal of the season after his shot was deflected by a Rockford defender. All of Smith's goals have come against the Ice Hogs this season.
Late in the third period, a series of hooking penalties–Triston Grant at 16:34, Smith at 17:14, and Andersson at 18:05–put the Ice Hogs on the power play for the final 3:26 of the game. Rockford's Marcus Kruger scored at 18:53 with his team having a three-man advantage after Richards was pulled.
Alas. it was Ferarro who would score an empty net goal to put the game out of reach. The goal was his eighth of the year.
The game featured both sides combining for 132 penalty minutes, which included three fights, eight roughing penalties, and six misconducts. Included among the fights was one between Shaw and Smith 41 seconds into the second period.
It was not the first time that both players had dropped the gloves with each other, as they had fought last March at Joe Louis Arena.
Griffins' netminder Tom McCollum continued his impressive play, recording 31 saves in the win. He has posted a 4-1 record with a 1.81 GAA, a .932 save percentage, and one shutout.
The Griffins will resume action Friday night at home against Peoria. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM.
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