GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Griffins were home on Monday night to battle the Rockford IceHogs for the final time inside the Van Andel Arena this season. Chase Pearson scored a pair of goals erasing a two-goal deficit for the Griffins, but they could not close out Rockford, who came out on top 3-2 in a shootout.
Grand Rapids finishes the season with a 4-1-2-1 against Rockford.
The IceHogs got on the board nearly halfway into the opening period. Evan Barratt crashed the net to knock home a nifty feed from Chad Yetman, beating Griffins netminder Kaden Fulcher. The Griffins were unable to answer in the first period and went into the locker room down a goal.
Yetman got on the scoresheet again, this time getting a tally to put Rockford up 2-0, beating Fulcher upstairs from the slot. Rockford seemed to have the upper hand offensively in the first two periods, outshooting Grand Rapids 23-17. Fulcher made several good saves to keep the Griffins in the game.
Like so many times before this season, the Griffins clawed their way back into the game late. Pearson scored two goals just 1:58 apart to tie the game. Turner Elson had the helper on the first goal when he found Pearson in the neutral zone breaking up the ice. The second goal came by way of a power play when Pearson gathered a rebound and buried it to tie the game.
Both teams failed to score in the final period, which leads to another overtime game for the Griffins this season. The Griffins had a couple of great chances to win the game when Jared McIsaac and Dominic Turgeon hit the goal post. Donovan Sebrango had a chance on the doorstep but was stopped by Matt Tomkins. Neither team could seal it on the extra frame, so the game went into the shootout.
Riley Barber got the only tally in the shootout for Grand Rapids, while Rockford got goals from Tim Soderlund and Cody Franson to seal the victory for the visitors.
Kaden Fulcher was solid in goal for the Griffins, stopping 36 of 38 shots.
The game did not feature many power-play opportunities, with Grand Rapids finishing 1-for-2 and Rockford going 0-for-2 on the man advantage.
Grand Rapids will be back home on Wednesday to host the Cleveland Monsters. Puck drop is set for just after 7 p.m.