GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- The Griffins and IceHogs played on Saturday night for the third consecutive time with Rockford coming away with its first victory this season against Grand Rapids. The Griffins nearly doubled Rockford in shots, but Rockford netminder Matt Tomkins stood tall for the opposing team as they were able to take the 2-1 win in overtime.
The first two periods were uneventful from an offensive standpoint. Tomkins ended up being the factor for the first 40 minutes of action. Grand Rapids outshot Rockford 30-10 through the first two periods, but could not generate anything on the offensive end. Griffins netminder, Kevin Boyle, only saw 10 shots after the first two periods of action.
The Griffins finally broke the scoreless tie nearly two and a half minutes into the third period. Kyle Criscuolo got the home team on the board as he deflected a Taro Hirose pass that beat Tomkins for a 1-0 Grand Rapids advantage.
Between the two teams, there were only five total penalties during the game with four of them being against the IceHogs and one of them called against Grand Rapids. Rockford took advantage of its only power-play opportunity to tie the game up at a goal a piece when Matej Chalupa fired a shot from the right faceoff circle and beat Boyle to tie the game. Regulation ended at a 1-1 tie.
In overtime, the Griffins had a couple of chances to take the game, but Tomkins continued his mastery and kept Grand Rapids off the board. A shot from Givani Smith deflected off Tomkins on the end glass, leading Rockford up the ice on an odd-man rush. Dylan McLaughlin was able to beat Boyle on the 2-on-1 and seal the overtime victory for the IceHogs.
Tomkins collected his first victory of the season stopping 42 -of-43 shots. Kevin Boyle stopped 20 of 22 shots. The Griffins now have a record of 6-3-1 and the IceHogs improve to 4-8-1. These two teams will conclude series of four consecutive games against one another on Tuesday night in Grand Rapids. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.
Anthony Noffke covers the Grand Rapids Griffins for The Sin Bin. Follow or interact with him at @SinBinGriffins