The Rockford IceHogs fell to 0-4-1-0 on the season after being shut down by the Grand Rapids Griffins on Thursday night at BMO Harris Bank Center.
The first set of 20 was controlled by the Griffins as shots favored them 12-5 at the end of the frame. Goalies Kevin Boyle and Matt Tomkins stopped every chance they faced. Both teams had power play chances, but neither capitalized. Grand Rapids went 0-for-2 and Rockford missed on their lone opportunity.
Grand Rapids opened the scoring on their third power play after Evan Barratt went to the box for a minor infraction. Griffins’ defenseman Dennis Cholowski fired one from the point that Michael Rasmussen tipped home. The second assist went to Taro Hirose. Later in the period, Alec Regula found the back of the net for his first professional goal just as a power play expired. Chad Krys and Andrei Altybarmakyan were credited with the assists on the game-tying tally.
Grand Rapids grabbed the lead back in the third when Riley Barber tallied his second goal of the season from Hirose and Cholowski. Rockford tried to muster up some chances, but the Griffins’ defense remained stout all night. With 2:10 left on the clock, head coach Derek King took a timeout and pulled Tomkins for the extra attacker. On the ensuing face-off, Chase Pearson slammed home the game-sealing empty-net goal to extend the Griffins’ lead to 3-1.
Rockford recorded just 13 shots on goal all night and failed to convert on their power play chances. They certainly have their work cut out for them between now and their next contest, which is Monday against the Cleveland Monsters.
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