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A Game Two Forget

May 01, 2024
Written By: Dylan Rider
1st 2nd 3rd Final
Rockford IceHogs 2 1 2 5
Grand Rapids Griffins 1 0 0 1

Calder Cup Playoffs - Central Division Semifinals - Game 2 - Best-of-Five Series Tied, 1-1

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 1 vs. Rockford IceHogs 5

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Following the Grand Rapids Griffins' opening goal, the Rockford IceHogs netted five consecutive tallies to secure a 5-1 win in Game 2 of the Central Division Semifinals at Van Andel Arena on Wednesday, tying the best-of-five series at one game apiece.

The Griffins will host Game 3 on Friday at 7 p.m. before the series returns to Rockford for Game 4 on Sunday at 5 p.m. EDT.

May 1, 2024  ·  2 Minutes

5-1-24 | Central Division Semifinals Game 2 Highlights | Rockford IceHogs

Austin Czarnik scored his first goal of these playoffs to give the Griffins the lead midway through the first period, when he whistled a rebound of a Carter Mazur shot through the five-hole of Drew Commesso from the right circle at 10:52. Rockford’s revenge came only 55 seconds later, though, as Ethan Del Mastro’s bullet from just inside the blue line flew past Sebastian Cossa and into the back of the net with 8:13 remaining in the frame.

The IceHogs stole momentum and the lead with a buzzer-beating power-play goal at 19:59. Mike Hardman deflected home Rem Pitlick’s one-timer from the top of the right circle for the first of his two goals on the night.

Michal Teply made it a 3-1 game early in the second period, ripping a shot inside the far post from the left circle at 1:25.

For the second straight contest the Griffins trailed by two entering the third period, but this time they could not mount a comeback. Another Hardman goal off a deflection pushed Rockford’s advantage to 4-1 at 4:17, and a late Grand Rapids penalty led to a second man-advantage tally for the IceHogs, with Luke Philp netting the final marker with 4:26 remaining.

May 1, 2024  ·  12 Minutes

5 - 1 - 24 | Post Game Interviews | Rockford IceHogs

- The Griffins entered the night 2-0 all time at home against the IceHogs in the playoffs, having only previously faced them in the 2015 Western Conference Semifinals.
- The four-goal margin of defeat and five consecutive goals allowed each tied a Griffins record for a home playoff game. Grand Rapids suffered three prior four-goal defeats at Van Andel Arena in the postseason, most recently 5-1 to Manitoba on April 30, 2018, and surrendered five straight goals at home just once before, in a 5-1 loss to Chicago on April 15, 2002.

Box Score
Rockford 2 1 2 - 5
Grand Rapids 1 0 0 - 1

1st Period-1, Grand Rapids, Czarnik 1 (Mazur, Berggren), 10:52. 2, Rockford, Del Mastro 1 (Reichel), 11:47. 3, Rockford, Hardman 1 (Pitlick, Kaiser), 19:59 (PP). Penalties-Strand Rfd (high-sticking), 2:09; Dach Rfd (roughing, roughing), 12:46; Johansson Gr (roughing, holding), 12:46; Shine Gr (tripping), 19:29.

2nd Period-4, Rockford, Teplý 2 (Phillips), 1:25. Penalties-Pitlick Rfd (high-sticking), 11:17; Teplý Rfd (hooking), 19:03.

3rd Period-5, Rockford, Hardman 2 (Roos, Philp), 4:17. 6, Rockford, Philp 1 (Hardman, Pitlick), 15:34 (PP). Penalties-Mazur Gr (tripping, misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct), 15:14.

Shots on Goal-Rockford 9-8-8-25. Grand Rapids 10-8-10-28.
Power Play Opportunities-Rockford 2 / 2; Grand Rapids 0 / 3.
Goalies-Rockford, Commesso 1-0 (28 shots-27 saves). Grand Rapids, Cossa 1-1 (25 shots-20 saves).

Three Stars
1. RFD Hardman (two goals, assist); 2. RFD Commesso (W, 27 saves); 3. RFD Philp (goal, assist)

Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 37-23-8-4 (86 pts.) / Central Division Semifinals Game 3 / Fri., May 3 vs. Rockford 7 p.m.
Rockford: 39-26-5-2 (85 pts.) / Central Division Semifinals Game 2 / Fri., May 3 at Grand Rapids 6 p.m CDT

Photo by Mark Newman/Griffins