ROCKFORD, Ill. – Five different skaters netted goals and Kevin Lankinen made a career-high 42 saves to lift the Rockford IceHogs over the Grand Rapids Griffins by a score of 5-2 on Saturday evening at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
Rockford’s Nick Moutrey broke the scoreless tie 13:29 into the opening period when he batted a cross-ice pass out of mid-air to spring himself on a shorthanded breakaway. Moutrey then rocketed a wrister over the glove hand of Griffins netminder, Filip Larsson, putting the Hogs up 1-0.
Just over a minute later, Brandon Hagel slipped a pass to a streaking Philipp Kurashev, who broke into the zone and wired a sharp-angle shot over Larsson’s shoulder to double the lead.
The IceHogs added more offense 14:30 into the second stanza when Alexander Fortin drew a defender away from the front of the net and ripped a pass to MacKenzie Entwistle, who buried the back door tap-in to make it 3-0.
Evgeny Svechnikov ended Lankinen’s shutout bid just under two minutes later, however, to get the Griffins on the board before the intermission.
Merely 17 seconds into the final frame, though, Jacob Nilsson snuck a pass underneath a sliding Griffins defenseman to set up Hagel, who deposited the puck into an unguarded cage to give the Hogs a 4-1 lead.
Svechnikov scored his second goal of the night three minutes later, but a flurry of saves by Lankinen and Fortin’s breakaway marker ended the Griffins’ comeback bid. Lankinen finished the contest with 42 saves on 44 shots while Larsson ended up with 15 stops on 20 attempts.