Rockford Gets Last Laugh in OT
<strong>Rockford IceHogs 2 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 1 OT</strong>
[From the Griffins]
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins nearly doubled-up the Rockford IceHogs in shots on Saturday as they looked to extend their series winning streak to four, but Dylan McLaughlin cashed in on a 2-on-1 break 2:14 into overtime to give the visitors a 2-1 win at Van Andel Arena.
Rockford netminder Matt Tomkins was the story over the first two scoreless periods, keeping the IceHogs in the game despite the Griffins’ shot advantages of 14-5 in the first period and 30-10 through 40 minutes.
The Griffins finally broke through Tomkins on shot No. 32 at 2:27 of the third. From the left half-wall, Taro Hirose found Kyle Criscuolo on the doorstep for a deflection and a 1-0 Grand Rapids lead.
The IceHogs used their only power play of the night to knot the score during a scramble at the 7:25 mark, as Matej Chalupa corralled a puck at the right faceoff dot and quickly ripped a shot past Kevin Boyle.
In overtime, after a Givani Smith shot from the left side caromed off Tomkins’ far shoulder and the end glass, McLaughlin picked up the puck and sped up ice on the odd-man rush, beating Boyle with a high shot from the left circle.
Tomkins earned his first win in seven appearances this season by making 42 saves, negating Grand Rapids’ 43-22 shot advantage. The loss was the Griffins’ first in four meetings with the IceHogs this season, during which they’ve out-shot Rockford by a whopping 153-74 margin.
• Riley Barber’s nine-game point streak – the longest ever to start a Griffins career or season – and Boyle’s three-game winning streak were both snapped.
• The Griffins’ last 23 games had been decided in regulation, since a 4-3 overtime loss at home to Texas on Feb. 8, 2020.
• Pursuant to the most recent order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Griffins welcomed a “sellout” crowd of 750 fans to tonight’s game.
Rockford 0 0 1 1 - 2
Grand Rapids 0 0 1 0 - 1
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Regula Rfd (cross-checking), 17:43.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Watson Rfd (hooking), 11:45.
3rd Period-1, Grand Rapids, Criscuolo 5 (Hirose), 2:27. 2, Rockford, Chalupa 4 (Barratt, McLaughlin), 7:25 (PP). Penalties-Phillips Rfd (hooking), 4:38; Cholowski Gr (high-sticking), 5:45; Wilkie Rfd (tripping), 13:18.
OT Period-3, Rockford, McLaughlin 1 2:14. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Rockford 5-5-10-2-22. Grand Rapids 14-16-10-3-43.
Power Play Opportunities-Rockford 1 / 1; Grand Rapids 0 / 4.
Goalies-Rockford, Tomkins 1-5-1 (43 shots-42 saves). Grand Rapids, Boyle 3-1-1 (22 shots-20 saves).
1. RFD Tomkins (OTW, 42 saves); 2. RFD McLaughlin (OT/GW goal, assist); 3. GR Criscuolo (goal)
Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 6-3-1-0 (13 pts.) / Tue., March 16 vs. Rockford 7 p.m.
Rockford: 4-8-1-0 (9 pts.) / Tue., March 16 at Grand Rapids 6 p.m. CDTapids 6 p.m. CST