Early period goals sink IceHogs in Grand Rapids
|Photo courtesy of the Rockford IceHogs.|
Grand Rapids, Mich.– Early goals against have been a trend for the Rockford IceHogs in Grand Rapids and Sunday was no different. The only thing different about Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Griffins, is that Grand Rapids did it in each of the three periods.
Landon Ferraro finished off a nice feed from Jeff Hoggan at 2:16 of the opening period to put the Griffins up 1-0 early on Sunday. In all three games at Van Andel Arena this season, Rockford has allowed a goal within the first 2:16 of the start of the opening frame.
Rockford's power play got back on track later in the period to tie the game at 1-1. Andrew Shaw redirected a Dylan Olsen shot from the point past Tom McCollum at 12:16 for his sixth goal of the season.
Grand Rapids struck early again, this time in the second period. Just 1:33 into the middle frame, Joakim Andersson banked a shot from behind the IceHogs goal line off of Alec Richards' skate and in for a 2-1 lead.
In the third period, a goal 1:21 put the Griffins up 3-1. Brendan Smith's shot from the point deflected off of an IceHogs skater and past Richards for Smith's fourth goal of the season, all coming against Rockford.
Late in the third period, Rockford had a golden opportunity to get back into the game with back-to-back 5-on-3 power plays. They converted on the second one as Marcus Kruger cleaned up a Kyle Beach rebound at 18:53 of the final frame to make it 3-2.
With the back end of the power play remaining for Rockford, it was Ferraro striking for the Griffins with an empty net short-handed goal at 19:10 to put the game out of reach.
Richards finished the contest with 29 saves while McCollum earned the win with 31 blocks. The game was filled with penalties as Rockford finished with 55 PIMs while the Griffins had 77 PIMs, topping their previous season high total of 25.