Proud American Hockey League Affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks

Our Town Or Team
Buy Tickets



By: Brent Hollerud
Photo by Mark Newman
12/06/2014 1:00 PM -

Griffins spoil Rockford's Teddy Bear Toss Night with 4-0 shutout victory

Rockford, Ill- A healthy crowd of 5,349 filled the BMO Harris Bank Center eager to participate in the Rockford IceHogs' annual Teddy Bear Toss night. However, a suffocating display of defense by the Grand Rapids Griffins (10-9-2-0) kept all the stuffed critters in the stands, as the IceHogs (16-6-1-1) were shutout 4-0 on Saturday night.

The visiting Griffins took an early lead and shut the door the rest of the way, using 31 saves from Jared Coreau and a myriad of blocked shots to blank the IceHogs for the first time on home ice since a similar 4-0 loss to the Peoria Rivermen on March 16, 2013.

Coreau made several timely saves to pick up his second win in as many starts, especially when Rockford was pressing in a third period where they outshot Grand Rapids 11 to 4. But the netminder had plenty of help, as the Griffins were able to stifle the IceHogs offense throughout the night, clogging up passing and shooting lanes keeping them from establishing any rhythm on the attack.

Both teams got their chances in the opening period but it was the Griffins who left with a 2-0 lead. After a couple key saves by Coreau, including an impressive glove save on Kyle Cumiskey, Grand Rapids grabbed the game's first goal just over the halfway point of the period. After a turnover behind the Rockford cage, Michael Leighton made a stunning glove save on Mark Zengerle, but lost the handle on the rebound. The loose puck landed right on the stick of Kevin Porter at the net mouth, who tapped it home at 11:17.

It appeared that the score would remain 1-0 heading into the first break, but the Griffins were able to turn a late defensive-zone draw into a two-goal lead. Andreas Athanasiou and linemate Anthony Mantha sprung off the face-off dot, beating the IceHogs defense and creating a 2-0 rush from center-ice in. A late pass by Mantha got Leighton moving, who had no chance on the Athanasiou one-timer, which found the net with nine seconds remaining in the first.

The Griffins made Rockford pay dearly for a couple of second-period penalties, when the visitors converted on a 5-on-3 advantage to extend their lead to three. With Garret Ross and Dennis Rasmussen both in the box, it only took the Grand Rapids power play 16 seconds to find the net. Andy Miele made a pinpoint pass from behind the cage to a waiting Mantha, who grabbed his third of the year at the 6:59 mark.

The second period goal was the only goal scored on special teams, as Rockford's power play came up empty in five chances, while giving up one goal in the five opportunities faced.

In a last-ditch effort to coax some scoring out of his squad, Head Coach Ted Dent pulled Leighton with nearly four minutes left in regulation. The ploy was unsuccessful as Landon Ferraro chipped in an empty-net tally from his own zone to cap off the scoring.

Leighton was tagged with his fourth loss of the season, stopping 29 of 32 shots.

The Teddy Bear Toss still took place at the game's conclusion, as the IceHogs collected 2,259 stuffed animals, all which will be donated to local charities.

Next Home Game: Sunday, Dec. 7, vs. Lake Erie Monsters: Game starts at 4 p.m. The IceHogs celebrate Pucks and Paws as they host Lake Erie. Local animal shelters will be on hand, so fans can visit pets which are up for adoption, as well as take home treats for any animals back at home.

Search Archive »

Browse by Month »

November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010

December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
December 0200