The Rockford IceHogs (1-7-1-0) were dismantled by the Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday night inside BMO Harris Bank Center.
The opening period started off promising with the Hogs getting the game’s first tally about four minutes in. Brandon Pirri scored on the power play from Cody Franson and Wyatt Kalynuk to make it 1-0. Grand Rapids was quick to answer, though. Dominik Shine got the party started for the Griffins. He was complemented by Max Humitz and Patrick Curry who also scored in the visitors’ 22-shot first period. Collin Delia was peppered with shots all period long and his team went into intermission down 3-1.
Just 48 ticks into the second frame, Humitz lit the lamp for the first of six goals the Griffins would score in the middle period. Tyler Spezia found the back of the net to make it 5-1, but Pirri had an answer for the IceHogs to get the score to 5-2. Kalynuk and John Quenneville assisted on the Rockford leading scorer’s second goal of the game.
After that, it was all Griffins in a 21-shot extravaganza. Riley Barber scored twice, Spezia added another to his total, as did Turner Elson. Lost in the array of pain was Delia getting pulled from the game for rookie netminder Tom Aubrun. This was Delia’s second rough outing between the pipes after being reassigned to Rockford for conditioning. Shot totals heavily favored Grand Rapids after two periods, 43-15 with the Hogs having just four shots in the frame.
Rockford ended the night scoring a pair of goals and holding the Griffins to six shots in the final 20 minutes. Their tallies were credited to Lucas Carlsson on the power play and Chris Wilkie at even strength. These were two of the Hogs’ six shots in the third period.
Grand Rapids controlled the play the entire night and did whatever they wanted against the Rockford defensive unit. Three multi-goal scorers carried the visitors to victory with two of those tallies coming on the power play. Kevin Boyle faced little to no pressure throughout the game and was able to stay warm despite his team dominating play.
When looking for positives from a Rockford perspective, Kalynuk and Nicolas Beaudin each posted multi-point nights along with Pirri. Similar to their opponent, two of the Hogs’ four goals came on the man advantage.
Quite a frustrating loss on home ice leaves the team only to look forward as they try to improve and erase this from their memory bank. Next up is the Iowa Wild on Saturday. Head coach Derek King may have some changes to make in order to shake the team up so they can correct what has put them six games under .500.