GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 1 at Rockford IceHogs 5
April 2, 2023
ROCKFORD, Ill. - The Grand Rapids Griffins were shut down by Arvid Soderblom (W, 36 saves) in a 5-1 defeat to the Rockford IceHogs on Sunday at the BMO Center.
With an apple on Danny O’Regan’s goal, Taro Hirose is now sixth all time in assists (123) for Grand Rapids, passing Nathan Paetsch. Hirose has a career-high 40 helpers on the season and is currently in a tie for 11th in the AHL in that category. William Wallinder and Ryan Bednard each made their debut in a Grand Rapids uniform. Bednard subbed in for John Lethemon in the second, becoming the eighth goalie (franchise record) to man the pipes for the Griffins this season.
The Griffins had two power-play opportunities to the IceHogs’ one in the opening period, but were unable to translate it to the scoreboard. Rockford lit the lamp first, as Luke Philp scored off of a loose puck in the crease at 16:08 after Lethemon batted away a shot.
Brett Seney immediately scored the IceHogs’ second of the night, deflecting the puck over Lethemon’s shoulder 15 seconds into the middle frame. Jakub Galvas made it 3-0 with another goal at the doorstep, forcing the Griffins to sub in Bednard at 5:10. At 6:56, Jared McIsaac fired a nifty pass through traffic to O’Regan in the crease. O’Regan’s one-timer snuck past Soderblom to cut Grand Rapids’ deficit to two.
Joel L’Esperance nearly had his 25th goal of the season, but the score was waved off due to the veteran using his head to bounce the puck in goal at 2:28 on a power play. Bednard was impressive in relief by making several-impressive stops, including a save with his stick on Rocco Grimaldi at 8:11 on an open net. The Griffins pulled Bednard with 4:06 remaining, but Seney made them pay with an empty-netter at 16:29 and was followed by Andrew Perrot’s first goal of the season with 1:15 left to secure a 5-1 win.
- With a goal, O’Regan has 22 points in his last 21 outings and 12 in as many games.
- L’Esperance appeared in his 250th game in the AHL.
Grand Rapids 0 1 0 - 1
Rockford 1 2 2 - 5
1st Period-1, Rockford, Philp 24 (Robinson, Grimaldi), 16:08. Penalties-Spezia Gr (slashing), 4:06; Adams-Moisan Rfd (hooking), 9:50; Regula Rfd (cross-checking), 17:42.
2nd Period-2, Rockford, Seney 20 (Hardman, Regula), 0:15. 3, Rockford, Galvas 3 (Hillis, Perrott), 5:10. 4, Grand Rapids, O’Regan 16 (McIsaac, Hirose), 6:56 (PP). Penalties-Barton Gr (hooking), 2:10; Jordan Rfd (boarding), 6:25.
3rd Period-5, Rockford, Seney 21 (Grimaldi), 16:29 (EN). 6, Rockford, Perrott 1 (Welinski, Busdeker), 18:45. Penalties-Grimaldi Rfd (slashing), 1:00; Howarth Rfd (slashing), 19:35.
Shots on Goal-Grand Rapids 12-10-15-37. Rockford 13-13-13-39.
Power Play Opportunities-Grand Rapids 1 / 5; Rockford 0 / 2.
Goalies-Grand Rapids, Lethemon 1-4-2 (19 shots-16 saves); Bednard 0-0-1 (19 shots-18 saves). Rockford, Soderblom 11-10-5 (37 shots-36 saves).
1. RFD Seney (two goals); 2. RFD Philp (goal); 3. RFD Soderblom (W, 36 saves).
Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 27-32-4-4 (62 pts.) / Thu., April 6 at Manitoba 8 p.m. EDT
Rockford: 31-26-5-4 (71 pts.) / Fri., April 7 at Milwaukee 7 p.m. CDT
Photo by Todd Reicher/IceHogs