The Griffins seem to have not only Milwaukee’s number, but they are dominating play against Rockford as well.
Grand Rapids scored four goals in the first 21 minutes of the game to help propel them to a 5-2 victory over the IceHogs. Cal Heeter was solid again in net for the Griffins stopping 33 of 35 shots
This win gives the Griffins a five game winning streak over Rockford, outscoring them 23-6 during the stretch. Grand Rapids has now won for the 10th time in the last 12 games while collecting points in 18 of their 21 previous games.
Defenseman Dan Renouf scored his second career professional goal for the Griffins when fellow blueliner Robbie Russo passed the puck off of the boards which found Renouf at the bottom of the left faceoff circle where he buried the puck into the open net.
Mike Borkowski took advantage of an IceHogs miscue to give Grand Rapids a 2-0 lead. Rockford’s Erik Gustafsson missed on a clearing attempt that ended up on the stick of Borkowski where his wrist shot made it past ‘Hogs goalie Mac Carruth.
Martin Frk scored on the power play to give the Griffins a commanding 3-0 lead when he was able to gather a pass from Tomas Nosek in the high slot. Frk then was able to unleash his powerful slapshot that made it’s way inside the left post with time about to expire in the first period.
Tomas Nosek scored the fourth goal almost a minute into the middle frame when he took a pass from Frk and his wrist shot found the inside of the left post. Mac Carruth was pulled after surrendering the Nosek goal and was replaced by Lars Johansson.
Rockford made the game interesting by scoring two goals a couple of minutes apart which cut the Griffins lead in half. Evan Mosey scored the first goal for the ‘Hogs on a shot that looked to have deflected off of a Griffins defender. Kyle Baun added another goal just two minutes later when his shot deflected off of the post and then off of Heeter’s back and into the net.
But in the third period, Ben Street put the game out of reach with under five minutes left. His first shot was blocked by Johansson, but he followed his own shot and scored on a backhand attempt over a diving Rockford netminder.
The Griffins finished 1 0f 3 on the man advantage. Rockford was unsuccessful on five power play attempts.
A rematch is set for Monday afternoon beginning just after 2 p.m. in Rockford. After their trip to Rockford concludes, the Griffins will be off to Iowa to battle the Wild on Wednesday.
Three Stars: 1. RFD Baun (goal) 2. GR Heeter (W, 33 saves) 3. GR Renouf (goal, assist)