01/19/2009 3:01 PM -
IceHogs improved to 2-2-0-0 on Mondays in the AHL era
Rockford, Ill.- After dropping three straight in week 15, the Rockford IceHogs started this week with a Monday matinee overtime win over the Grand Rapids Griffins at the Rockford MetroCentre.
The IceHogs came away with a 2-1 overtime win after trailing the Griffins in the middle of the second period.
With the score tied at one, defenseman Andrew Archer put away the game-winner at 1:44 in the extra frame on a breakaway. Archer took a pass from Tim Hambly, who worked as the hinge on a criss-cross play that started with Petri Kontiola at the blue line.
"I thought our team was more patient and poised with the puck today," said coach Bill Peters. "And that's something that is going to be important in the second half. Our work ethic is established now we just have to make plays."
After a period of scoreless hockey, the Griffins jumped ahead of the IceHogs with a shorthanded breakaway goal by Darren Haydar. The puck was picked up in the neutral zone by Haydar and flung in past Hogs' puckstopper Antti Niemi at 2:35 in the second frame.
IceHogs retaliated by taking advantage of their next power play when Kontiola put one through from the corner at 8:29 in the second period. Evan Brophey and Pascal Pelletier were credited with the assists.
"I thought we had a good effort," Peters said. "Our first 40 minutes were very good. Any time you can hold them down to 13 shots in the first 40 minutes, you're doing something right."
The IceHogs went 1-for-4 on the advantage in the game while shutting out the Griffin's strong special teams on four chances. The AHL's second best power play squad could not find the net on the advantage in five opportunities over the weekend.
"It's nice to get one on the power play, we've hit a dry spell recently," Peters said. "But more importantly our penalty kill was 4-for-4. I thought our penalty kill was excellent today."
The Griffins' goaltender Daniel Larsson turned away 32 shots in the loss. Niemi stopped 21 for Rockford in his first win (10-10-2) since Dec. 31 against Quad City.
The IceHogs end a three-game slide and beat the Griffins for the first time in three attempts (1-1-0-1) in 2008-09.