Rockford IceHogs | Early Deficit Downs Hogs
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Early Deficit Downs Hogs

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Rockford, Ill. – Unable to complete a comeback after allowing four goals in the first period, the Rockford IceHogs fell 5-2 to the Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday night. Forwards Josiah Slavin and David Gust jumpstarted an attempted comeback, but an empty netter late in the third period sealed the Hogs’ first loss to the Griffins this season.

The Griffins were relentless in the first four minutes of the contest, tacking on four goals to kickstart the night. Grand Rapids forward Danny O’Regan stole the puck at the blue line and netted the first lamp lighter at :23, and defenseman Wyatt Newpower tallied a minute later with a one-timer from just outside the right circle at 1:24 to take a 2-0 lead.

Continuing their offensive onslaught and moving to a 3-0 lead, Grand Rapids forward Austin Czarnik tapped a centering pass from Joel L’Esperance past the glove side of Wells at 3:47. Looking to shut down the Griffins’ explosive attack, IceHogs goalie Mitchell Weeks stepped into the net for Wells after the tally. Just 11 seconds after Czarnik’s goal, forward Jakub Vrana launched a wrister from the left circle over the glove shoulder of Weeks and extended the Griffins’ lead to 4-0.

The IceHogs cracked the scoreboard late in the first frame on a breakaway opportunity from forward Josiah Slavin. Rocketing a wrister from the left circle past the glove side of Griffins goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic, Slavin shortened the lead to 4-1 at 17:56 before the first intermission.

Settling the game down in the middle period, the Hogs outshot the Griffs 16-6 in the second stanza and scored the only red lighter of the period. Forward Luke Philp caught a centering pass from Seney and fired a shot at the pads of Nedeljkovic. Cleaning up the rebound of Philp’s shot, Gust swept the puck past Nedeljkovic and netted his 19th tally of the season at 12:20 cutting Grand Rapids’ lead in half.

Rockford couldn’t capitalize on two power play opportunities in the third period, and Czarnik sealed the match with a shorthanded empty netter from the neutral zone at 16:48 in the final frame just as Weeks left the net.

Weeks played tough in the net, turning away 23 of 24 Grand Rapids shots while Wells marked 3 saves getting tagged with the loss. Nedeljkovic finished the night after stopping 35 of 37 Rockford shots.

IceHogs Highlights: IceHogs vs Griffins 1/18/23

Kick off the weekend with $2 beers with the return of $2 Bud Fridays on Friday, Jan. 20 when the IceHogs take on the Springfield Thunderbirds at 7 p.m.! The $2 beers include Bud Light, Budweiser, and Busch Light and can be purchased at most concession stands on the concourse through the end of the second intermission. Get tickets now!

The Rockford IceHogs are proud to host their 12th annual Autism Awareness Night, presented by LawnCare By Walter, Inc. on Saturday, Jan. 21 against the Chicago Wolves at 7 p.m. at the BMO Center. The event will be themed Superhero Night featuring custom Autism Awareness Night/Superhero jerseys and jersey auction, autographed mystery pucks, and premium raffle to support The Autism Program of Easterseals.

Tune In LIVE on the IceHogs Broadcast Network Presented by BMO
Watch and listen to every game this season on the IceHogs Broadcast Network presented by BMO! Listen from your favorite device, at home, or on the road at and on the IceHogs app and watch LIVE on AHLTV and selected games on 23.3 Circle TV! Fans can also tune in on all of Mid-West Family’s local stations including 104.9 The X, B103, 95.3 The Bull, and Rockford Greatest Hits 100.5 and featured on Rock River Current, the Stateline’s premiere source for local events, news and culture.