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Game Won

Apr 27, 2024
Written By: Dylan Rider
1st 2nd 3rd OT Final
Grand Rapids Griffins 0 0 2 1 3
Rockford IceHogs 1 1 0 0 2

Calder Cup Playoffs - Central Division Semifinals - Game 1 - Grand Rapids Leads Best-of-Five Series, 1-0

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 3 at Rockford IceHogs 2 (OT)

ROCKFORD, Ill. – After the Grand Rapids Griffins scored twice in the third period to force overtime, Jonatan Berggren slipped a shot past Jaxson Stauber 4:14 into the extra session to cap off the Game 1 comeback and give the visitors a 3-2 victory over the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday at the BMO Center.

Sebastian Cossa stopped 20 of 22 shots in his Calder Cup Playoffs debut to help Dan Watson join seven other head coaches who won their first postseason game behind the Griffins’ bench. The best-of-five series now shifts to Van Andel Arena for Games 2 and 3 on Wednesday, May 1 and Friday, May 3.

April 28, 2024  ·  3 Minutes

4-27-24 | Central Division Semifinals Game 1 Highlights | Rockford IceHogs

Early in the opening frame, Michal Teply beat Cossa by tucking a shot inside the left post from below the right circle at 4:24 for a 1-0 IceHogs lead.

Rockford captured its second goal of the game with 8:40 remaining in the middle period, thanks to a left-circle bullet from Zach Sanford.

The IceHogs, 22-1 during the regular season when leading after two periods, held that 2-0 advantage into the final frame over a Griffins’ squad whose eight wins when trailing after 40 minutes tied for second in the AHL.

Dominik Shine, the only current Griffin who had playoff experience with Grand Rapids entering tonight’s game, cut the IceHogs’ lead in half when he put the puck through Stauber’s five-hole from the bottom of the right circle off a Simon Edvinsson pass 3:05 into the third.

As the Griffins rushed into the Rockford zone in the waning minutes, Amadeus Lombardi received the puck from Tyler Spezia and ripped a shot home from the left hashmarks to erase the IceHogs’ lead with 4:25 remaining.

Minutes into overtime, Berggren streamed into Rockford's zone 1-on-1 with Wyatt Kaiser, muscled around him in the left circle, and while falling to the ice unleashed a shot that trickled past Stauber and just inside the far post for the game-winner.

Grand Rapids improved to 17-11 all time in overtime playoff games, including an incredible 9-2 on the road.

April 28, 2024  ·  4 Minutes

4 - 27 -24 | Post Game Interviews | Rockford IceHogs

- The Griffins’ last Game 1 to go to overtime was their playoff opener versus Milwaukee in 2017. Grand Rapids’ 4-3 home triumph was the first of 15 victories earned en route to its second Calder Cup.
- The last time the Griffins and IceHogs battled in overtime at the BMO Center in the Calder Cup Playoffs was also a win (2-1) for Grand Rapids, courtesy of rookie Tyler Bertuzzi in Game 4 of the 2015 Western Conference Semifinals.
- Cossa became just the fifth rookie goalie to start a playoff game for Grand Rapids, joining Jared Coreau (2015), Petr Mrazek (2013), Jimmy Howard (2006) and Mathieu Chouinard (2001).
- Taro Hirose and Spezia made their first playoff appearances with Grand Rapids after having logged 248 and 240 regular-season games, respectively, with the franchise.
- All time, the Griffins have triumphed in four of seven best-of-five playoff series after winning Game 1.

Box Score
Grand Rapids 0 0 2 1 - 3
Rockford 1 1 0 0 - 2

1st Period-1, Rockford, Teplý 1 (Reichel, Strand), 4:24. Penalties-Tuomisto Gr (tripping), 0:29.

2nd Period-2, Rockford, Sanford 1 (Hardman, Roos), 11:20. Penalties-Johansson Gr (roughing), 0:25; Seney Rfd (roughing), 0:25; Roos Rfd (cross-checking), 17:48.

3rd Period-3, Grand Rapids, Shine 1 (Edvinsson), 3:05. 4, Grand Rapids, Lombardi 1 (Spezia, Rafferty), 15:35. Penalties-Kasper Gr (roughing), 1:41; Phillips Rfd (roughing), 1:41.

OT Period-5, Grand Rapids, Berggren 1 (Mazur, Simek), 4:14. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Grand Rapids 11-12-11-3-37. Rockford 9-6-7-0-22.
Power Play Opportunities-Grand Rapids 0 / 1; Rockford 0 / 1.
Goalies-Grand Rapids, Cossa 1-0 (22 shots-20 saves). Rockford, Stauber 0-1 (37 shots-34 saves).

Three Stars
1. GR Berggren (overtime-winner); 2. RFD Sanford (goal); 3. GR Lombardi (goal)

Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 37-23-8-4 (86 pts.) / Central Division Semifinals Game 2 / Wed., May 1 vs. Rockford 7 p.m.
Rockford: 39-26-5-2 (85 pts.) / Central Division Semifinals Game 2 / Wed., May 1 at Grand Rapids 6 p.m CDT

Photo by Brad Repplinger/Rockford IceHogs