GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 2 at Rockford IceHogs 1
Nov. 6, 2021
ROCKFORD, Ill. – The Grand Rapids Griffins swept the weekend when they defeated the Rockford IceHogs 2-1 on Saturday at the BMO Harris Bank Center. The Griffins now have won three of their last four games and two straight away from West Michigan.
Grand Rapids got on the board first when it scored a shorthanded goal at the 9:07 mark. Dominik Shine broke free on the left side and passed the puck through the legs of a defender to Tyler Spezia who stood at the right circle and sent his shot past the blocker of Arvid Soderblom.
Just ten seconds later, Taro Hirose scored at the top of the right circle on a redirect off a flip pass from Jonatan Berggren putting the Griffins in front 2-0. Grand Rapids held a 10-7 shot advantage going into the first intermission, which marked the second time this season that the Griffins outshot their opponent after the opening frame.
Coming out of the break, Rockford looked to tie the game but netminder Calvin Pickard stood tall. The IceHogs were held to two shots through the first 12:57 of play in the second period.
After a Grand Rapids penalty, the IceHogs were able to get on the scoreboard during the power play. With 41 seconds remaining in the frame, Rockford’s goalie Soderblom sent the puck down the ice finding Evan Barrat who skated down and sent a backdoor pass to Brett Connolly at the right post, cutting the deficit to one. Pickard now has allowed just one goal in four of his six starts and has won three straight games.
It was all Rockford in the third period as the Griffins did not register a shot until the 11:07 mark. In the final 33 seconds Shine and Hirose came up big with two blocked shots to help Grand Rapids secure the 2-1 victory.
D.J King, son of former Griffin Derek King, made his Griffins debut marking the second father-son duo to have played for Grand Rapids joining Chris (2008-09) and Jake (2018-19) Chelios.
Barber, Berggren and Hirose notched another point, pushing their scoring streak to four games.
The Griffins did not receive a power play and the penalty kill went one for two.
Pickard totaled 21 saves.
Grand Rapids 2 0 0 - 2
Rockford 0 1 0 - 1
1st Period-1, Grand Rapids, Spezia 2 (Shine), 9:07 (SH). 2, Grand Rapids, Hirose 2 (Berggren, Barber), 9:17. Penalties-Verbeek Gr (hooking), 7:07.
2nd Period-3, Rockford, Connolly 2 (Barratt, Nylander), 19:19 (PP). Penalties-Newpower Gr (tripping), 18:29.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Grand Rapids 10-14-3-27. Rockford 7-5-10-22.
Power Play Opportunities-Grand Rapids 0 / 0; Rockford 1 / 2.
Goalies-Grand Rapids, Pickard 4-2-0 (22 shots-21 saves). Rockford, Soderblom 2-2-0 (27 shots-25 saves).
GR Hirose (goal); 2. RFD Connolly (goal); 3. GR Spezia (goal)
Record/ Next Game
Grand Rapids: 4-4-0-1 (9 pts.) / Fri., Nov. 12 vs. Manitoba 7 p.m.
Rockford: 2-5-0-0 (4 pts.) / Sun., Nov. 7 vs. Manitoba 4 p.m. CST
Photo by Todd Reicher/ Rockford IceHogs