Grand Rapids, Mich. – Concluding a contest in regulation for the first time since Jan. 27, the Rockford IceHogs fell 5-4 to the Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday night at Van Andel Arena. Forward Bobby Lynch tallied twice and recorded an assist with his first three-point night of the season.
After two penalties from forward David Gust and defenseman Alec Regula in the first two minutes of the first period, the IceHogs were able to kill off the Griffins’ early 5-on-3 man advantage; however, Grand Rapids defenseman Simon Edvinsson scored on a deflection at 6:27 and forward Alex Chiasson extended the Griffins’ lead to 2-0 with a wrist shot just 21 seconds later at 6:48.
The Griffins continued to tack onto their lead in the second stanza when forward Taro Hirose skated ahead on a breakaway and snuck a backhanded shot past Rockford goalie Arvid Soderblom at 3:28 to take a 3-0 lead.
Fighting back halfway through the middle period, forward D.J. Busdeker stole the puck at center ice and shuttled a pass to Bobby Lynch at the left point. Bagging his fourth of the season, Lynch netted a wrister from the left circle and put the Hogs on the board 3-1 at 8:33.
Rockford cut Grand Rapids’ lead to 3-2 in the final minute of the second period. While taking a big hit on the left edge of the crease, forward Carson Gicewicz knocked a Cooper Zech rebound behind Griffins netminder Alex Nedeljkovic at 19:22. Zech’s shot from the blue line bounced off Nedeljkovic’s pads before Gicewicz claimed his fourth tally of the campaign.
As the IceHogs were trying to make a line change early in the final frame, forward Dominik Shine handled a stretch pass from Tyler Spezia and fired a wrist shot over the glove of Soderblom at 2:47, extending the Griffins’ lead to 4-2.
Later in the third, it appeared that Grand Rapids was pulling out of Rockford’s reach after forward Alex Chiasson tapped in a centering pass from forward Adam Erne at 8:45 and took a 5-2 lead for the Griffins. The Hogs would not go quietly however, and forward Lukas Reichel immediately answered back, squeezing a loose puck past Nedeljkovic and cutting the lead to 5-3 at 9:16.
The IceHogs continued to claw their way back when Lynch scored his second lamp lighter of the contest at 12:48 and sliced the Griffins’ lead to 5-4. Gicewicz backed the puck across the blue line for Lynch who dangled around Nedeljkovic for his sixth of the season.
With an empty net and the extra skater at 18:15, the Hogs were unable to capitalize on several loose pucks in front of the Grand Rapids net. Rockford outshot Grand Rapids 42-19 for the game, including a 16-6 advantage in the third period.
Soderblom was tagged with the loss, marking 14 saves on 19 Griffins’ shots, and Nedeljkovic stopped 38 of Rockford’s 42 shots to earn the win.
IceHogs Pride Night
Hockey is for everyone and our first Pride Night will be a night of inclusivity and community pride when the IceHogs take on the Texas Stars on Friday, Feb. 17! It's also our next $2 Beer Friday with $2 Bud Light, Budweiser, and Busch Light cans available at most concession stands through the second intermission.
Hammy's Birthday Party
Celebrate Hammy's birthday on Saturday, Feb. 25 and enjoy some in-game antics from some of Hammy's mascot friends! The first 2,500 fans will also receive a Hammy bobblehead!
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 IceHogs.com 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.