Carruth, IceHogs Shut out Griffins 4-0
Rockford, Ill. - In their second-to-last regular season home game, the Rockford IceHogs put together a wire-to-wire performance to shut the Grand Rapids Griffins out by a 4-0 score on Friday at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
Goaltender Mac Carruth made 31 saves to earn his second shutout of the season, and Rockford took advantage of a third-period offensive explosion to move into sole possession of third place in the Central Division. The victory is Rockford's second in as many games while the Griffins lost their fourth straight contest.
Tanner Kero broke the IceHogs record for rookie goals in a season with his 20th tally, while Vince Hinostroza set the new mark for points in a campaign by first year players (48) as he tallied two assists to bring his season totals to 16 goals and 32 assists.
Nick Mattson opened the scoring at 11:17 of the opening frame with his first American Hockey League goal. After receiving a pass from Pierre-Cedric Labrie and wheeling back up the boards, Mark McNeill laid a pass into the path of Mattson, who wired a one-time blast over the glove of Jared Coreau to give the IceHogs a 1-0 lead.
Tyler Motte and Kero nearly combined to double Rockford's advantage with 2:30 left in the first period. Motte sped by a Griffins defender before sliding a low effort in on Coreau, who kicked the puck out into the slot. Kero followed up on the chance, but he couldn't sneak his shot between the right skate of the Grand Rapids netminder and the post.
Kyle Criscuolo almost managed to notch his first professional tally and tie up the match in the closing seconds of the opening period. The Harvard product wheeled around the Hogs cage before stuffing a shot towards the left post that was met by the left pad of Carruth.
The middle stanza went scoreless thanks in large part to the goaltending efforts of Carruth, whose biggest stop came 11 minutes into the second period. Grand Rapids entered the Rockford zone on a three-on-one following a turnover and got the puck to Mark Zengerle in the high slot. Carruth stood tall and got his left arm on the shot, though, to deflect it to the glass and maintain the one-goal lead.
Rockford doubled their lead only 28 seconds into the third period courtesy of the team's rookie line of Motte, Kero, and Hinostroza. Kero found Hinostroza, who put a spinning shot on net through a screen by Motte. The rebound hopped off the pads of Coreau to a waiting Ville Pokka and he pounded a shot into the empty cage for his 10th goal of the season.
It took just under three minutes for the IceHogs to get their next goal. In four-on-four play, Kyle Baun chipped a nifty pass through the neutral zone to Kero, who tucked a backhand through the pads of Coreau at 3:28 of the third to give Rockford a 3-0 lead.
McNeill got in on the action with a power-play goal 1:02 after the marker by Kero. An outside shot from Pokka kicked right to the team's leading scorer and he slammed his 23rd of the season under Coreau to extend the advantage to 4-0.
Rockford only allowed eight shots in the final period, but Carruth displayed toughness and grit with a final big save in the last five minutes. Tomas Nosek got in on a shorthanded break and barreled over the Hogs goaltender, who stood his ground to make the stop and preserve his shutout bid.
Rockford went 1-for-5 on the man advantage while shutting down all six Grand Rapids power plays.
• Discuss this story on the American Hockey League message board...
American Hockey League Stories from April 16, 2016
- Ontario's Peter Budaj Wins AHL's Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award - Ontario Reign
- Schmalz Shines as Reign Fall to Gulls in Final Regular-Season - Ontario Reign
- Ontario's Peter Budaj Wins AHL's Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award - AHL
- Crunch Comeback Falls Short in Overtime, 4-3 - Syracuse Crunch
- IceHogs to Meet Lake Erie in First Round of Calder Cup Playoffs - Rockford IceHogs
- Griffins Look to Playoffs Following 3-2 Loss in Finale - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Manitoba Moose Post-Game Report - Manitoba at Texas - April 16 - Manitoba Moose
- Rowney Receives Team MVP, Scores Only Goal in 3-1 Loss - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
- Admirals Face Grand Rapids in First Round of Calder Cup Playoffs - Milwaukee Admirals
- Rattie, Wolves Wrap Season with Win - Chicago Wolves
- Rattie, Wolves Wrap Season with Win - Chicago Wolves
- Stars Finish off Regular Season with 4-1 Win in Front of Sellout Crowd - Texas Stars
- Wild Closes out Season with 4-2 Defeat in Chicago - Iowa Wild
- Falcons Rally to Defeat Pirates - Springfield Falcons
- Bears Rally from Behind against Phantoms - Lehigh Valley Phantoms
- Bears Defeat Phantoms, Lock up Division Title - Hershey Bears
- Providence Beats Penguins, Will Meet Again for Playoffs - Providence Bruins
- Comets Claim Third Consecutive Galaxy Cup - Utica Comets
- Condors Cap Season on Three-Game Win Streak, 3-2, in Grand Rapids - Bakersfield Condors
- Cleveland's Lake Erie Monsters' Playoff Schedule Announced - Cleveland Monsters
- IceHogs Season Award Winners Named - Rockford IceHogs
- Griffins to Open Playoffs against Admirals - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Albany Devils Dominance Gets Lost in Mayhem - Albany Devils
- Wolf Pack Conclude Season with 2-1 Setback at St. John's - Hartford Wolf Pack
- Toronto Marlies Post Game Notes - Toronto Marlies
- Bridgeport ends road schedule with loss - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Mason Geertsen Reassigned to Komets - San Antonio Rampage
- IceCaps Top Wolf Pack to End Season in Victory - St. John's IceCaps
- Guhle Scores as Amerks Drop First of Two with Marlies - Rochester Americans
- Syracuse Crunch Present 2015-16 Team Awards - Syracuse Crunch
- American Hockey League Announces Suspension - AHL
- Ryan Macinnis and Kyle Wood Report to Springfield - Springfield Falcons
- Regular Season Finale Tonight against Milwaukee - Rockford IceHogs
- Final Home Game of the Season Tonight at 7:30 Sees Heat Wear Military Themed Sweaters - Stockton Heat
- Ritchie Recalled by Anaheim - San Diego Gulls
- Panthers Recall Shaw from Portland - Portland Pirates
- Ontario Reign Game Preview: Reign and Gulls Wrap up 2015-16 Regular Season Tonight - Ontario Reign
- Game Day: Albany Devils vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers - Albany Devils
- Manitoba Moose Post-Game Report - Manitoba at San Antonio - April 15 - Manitoba Moose
- Carruth, IceHogs Shut out Griffins 4-0 - Rockford IceHogs
- Gulls' Early Lead Erased in 4-2 Loss to Ontario - San Diego Gulls
- Reign Capture Western Conference Regular-Season Title with 4-2 Win - Ontario Reign
- Griffins Fall 4-0 in Rockford, Will Learn First-Round Opponent - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Rampage Close out 2015-16 Campaign with 5-2 Loss to Moose - San Antonio Rampage
- Admirals Fall in Regular Season Finale - Milwaukee Admirals
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.