GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Home has been where the heart is for the Griffins this season as they defeated the Rockford IceHogs on Wednesday night, 3-2. The home team got a late tally from Gregor MacLeod to seal the victory. The Griffins improved to 6-1-3 on home ice this season.
Patrick Curry, who was in the lineup for the first time in five games, got the Griffins out in front early into the first period when he was able to find a small opening, slipping a shot past Rockford netminder Cale Morris for the 1-0 advantage.
The visitors were able to answer back just past the halfway point of the period. The IceHogs found themselves on the power play after a delay-of-game infraction was called against Turner Elson. Dylan McLaughlin took advantage of the Griffins miscue and was able to beat Kevin Boyle from the left circle to tie the game up at a goal a piece.
Grand Rapids reclaimed the lead after their leading scorer, Riley Barber notched his team-high 15th goal of the campaign. Both teams headed to their respective locker rooms as the Griffins held a 2-1 lead after the first 20 minutes of action.
The second period saw no goals from either side. But the IceHogs were able to knot the game up at two when Mitchell Fossier scored on a penalty shot, beating Boyle to tie the game. But just as they have many times already this season, the Griffins were able to find a little bit of offense late in the game. Grand Rapids took the lead for good when MacLeod took advantage of a Rockford mistake and scored to give the home team the lead for good.
The Griffins had their chance to add a goal on a penalty shot when Taro Hirose was awarded the opportunity after he was tripped up on a breakaway attempt. Ivan Nalimov, who replaced Morris to start the third period, stopped Hirose and the score stood 3-2.
Rockford still had a chance to tie the score but came up empty after pulling their goalie for the extra attacker.
The goal from MacLeod now gives the young forward points in four consecutive games, and point in six of his previous eight games.
Kevin Boyle made his first appearance in net since April 16, stopping 20 of 22 shots and earning the victory to improve his record to 6-2-1 on the season.
This game was relatively clean with Rockford going 1-for-3 on the power play and the Griffins finishing 0-for-2.
The Griffins will be home once again this evening for a showdown with longtime division rival Chicago Wolves. Puck drop will be just after 7 P.M.