GRAND RAPIDS 2 at Rockford IceHogs 3
Dec. 23, 2017
ROCKFORD, Ill. – The Grand Rapids Griffins were fighting from behind the whole game. However, when the Rockford IceHogs scored the Griffins followed up with a goal of their own. Despite a late goal from the defending Calder Cup champions, the home team skated away with a 3-2 shootout victory at BMO Harris Bank Center.
Grand Rapids (11-15-1-4) enters the Christmas break with points in three of its last four games. It was the team’s last appearance in Rockford (17-11-1-1) this season.
The Griffins came out aggressive to start the game with 12 shots on net, generating twice as many shots as the IceHogs. Grand Rapids also had the game’s only penalty of the period as Dylan McIlrath was called for high-sticking.
David Kampf scored the first goal of the contest at 8:01 of the second frame to give Rockford a 1-0 lead. Anthony Louis brought the puck into the zone, and passed it to former Griffin Tomas Jurco on the right board. Jurco made a quick pass back to Louis for the give-and-go. Louis took a shot from the slot, but Jared Coreau made the save. However, Kampf was camped in front of the net and he hammered his seventh goal into the net as Coreau found himself out of place.
Shortly after, the Griffins got on the board when Matt Lorito tallied his ninth goal of the season at 9:23. Dominic Turgeon collected the puck in the right corner of the Rockford zone and passed it to Dan Renouf at the point. The defenseman sent the puck towards the net, but it was stopped by Jeff Glass. Lorito found the puck and let off a quick shot. The rubber disc hit the post, bounced off of Glass’ leg, and into the net.
The IceHogs reclaimed the lead 5:35 into the final frame as Jurco netted his 10th goal of the year. The left winger entered the zone up the left board, skated around three defenders, and shot the rubber saucer under Coreau’s glove for the 2-1 lead.
With 1.7 seconds left in regulation, Grand Rapids extended the game with a goal from captain Matthew Ford. Lorito entered the zone with less than 10 seconds remaining and dropped the puck off to Ben Street near the left board. Street shot the puck, but it was deflected high into the air. As gravity pulled it back into the action, Ford made his best bunting impression and sent the puck into the net off of Glass’s left shoulder.
Jared Coreau stood on his head in the overtime period. Eight incredible saves were made, including two breakaway attempts which extended the game into a shootout.
Three rounds of unsuccessful scoring attempts led to the fourth shot by the IceHogs that was taken by Viktor Svedberg. The defenseman skated swiftly towards the net and wound up a slap shot from the slot that sailed into the top left corner of the net for the 3-2 win.
Notes: In four of Grand Rapids’ five games in Rockford, the game was decided by one goal…This was the third shootout loss to the IceHogs on the road this season.
Three Stars: 1. RFD Jurco (goal, assist); 2. GR Lorito (goal, assist); 3. RFD Glass (W, 31 saves)