Rockford, IL – Forward Brett Connolly capitalized on the power play in the final minute of the second period to pull the Rockford IceHogs (2-5-0-0) within striking distance, but the Grand Rapids Griffins (4-4-0-1) held on for a 2-1 victory on Opening Night at BMO Harris Bank Center Saturday evening.
The Griffins kicked off the scoring with a pair of goals 10 seconds apart and took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. Forward Tyler Spezia opened the scoring at 9:07, completing a 2-on-1 rush with Dominik Shine. Moments later, forward Taro Hirose deflected a centering pass over the pads of IceHogs goaltender Arvid Soderblom (L, 25 saves on 27 shots) for a two-goal advantage.
Late in the second period, the IceHogs responded with a power-play marker to cut into the Griffins lead. Forward Evan Barratt broke into the offensive zone down the left wing and found Connolly with the easy back-door, tap-in tally with 41 seconds left in the period.
Connolly’s second marker of the season proved to be the lone tally of the night for the IceHogs as Griffins netminder Calvin Pickard (21 saves on 22 shots) denied all 10 shots in the third period and received timely blocks from his teammates to preserve the win.
The IceHogs finished the game 1-for-2 on the power play while the Griffins did not receive a man advantage.
The IceHogs continue their Healthcare Workers Appreciation Weekend tomorrow, Sunday, Nov. 7 vs. Manitoba at 4 p.m. Join the IceHogs as they celebrate our Stateline healthcare heroes that have kept our community safe with special promotions and in-game presentations. Buy Opening Weekend Tickets
Listen to every game this season on the IceHogs Broadcast Network presented by BMO Harris Bank! Listen from your favorite device, at home or on the road at IceHogs.com and on the IceHogs app! 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.