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Five-Goal First Period Propels Griffins over Rockford

December 5, 2021 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Grand Rapids Griffins News Release

Grand Rapids Griffins right wing Matt Berry vs. the Rockford IceHogs
Grand Rapids Griffins right wing Matt Berry vs. the Rockford IceHogs
(Grand Rapids Griffins, Credit: Nicolas Carrillo/Griffins)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Grand Rapids Griffins' five-goal first period helped defeat the Rockford IceHogs 6-2 on Saturday at Van Andel Arena, as six different Griffins scored in the effort during Country Night.

The Griffins completely controlled the opening frame, recording the most goals (5) in a period this season, beating their previous record of three during the third period against Milwaukee on Nov. 24.

An early Rockford penalty allowed Grand Rapids to convert on its first power play chance of the night. At 3:30, Ryan Murphy took a shot toward net, but missed wide left. The puck bounced off the back boards to Kyle Criscuolo at the goal mouth and he scored the tap-in. Criscuolo's eight goals now pace the roster while his six-game point streak (6-6-12) is tied for the longest this season for the Griffins.

Twenty-six seconds later, Grand Rapids scored again when Dan Renouf found Brian Lashoff, who stood near the blue line and fired a laser into the net, giving the Griffins a 2-0 lead.

With 12:52 remaining, Turner Elson skated down on a 2-on-1 break and took an initial shot that was saved by Collin Delia. Dennis Yan then came right behind to gather the rebound and put the puck through the legs of the netminder.

At 9:56 in the first, Dominik Shine stole the puck from the defense and skated out on a one-on-one chance. Shine made a nifty move through the defenders' legs, then worked Delia at the right post for his fourth goal of the season.

After allowing four goals in the opening 10 minutes, Delia was pulled and Cale Morris made his season debut for Rockford.

As time was winding down with 1:09 left in the first, Murphy was by himself when he gathered the loose puck down in the Rockford zone and put the biscuit around goaltender.

After five unanswered goals, the IceHogs finally got on the scoreboard in the second. At 5:32, Carson Gicewicz skated out on a breakaway and beat Calvin Pickard at the left post.

With 1:40 remaining in the middle frame, Alexander Nylander stood at the high slot and sent a rocket into the net, cutting the Rockford deficit to three.

In the final 35 seconds of the period, Criscuolo connected with Jonatan Berggren at the goal crease, and he sent the puck past the right leg of Morris.

A defensive third period by Grand Rapids shut the IceHogs out, giving the Griffins a 6-2 victory.


*Murphy extended his point streak (2-2-4) to three games.

*Matt Berry recorded his first point as a Griffin on a helper.

*Donovan Sebrango now has 50 games in a Griffins uniform at the age of 19.

*Luke Witkowski bagged his first point as a Griffin, as well as his 50th assist as a pro.

*Grand Rapids snapped its four-game home losing skid.

*Pickard recorded his third assist of the season, which is a new AHL career high for the goaltender.

Rockford 0 2 0 - 2

Grand Rapids 5 1 0 - 6

1st Period-1, Grand Rapids, Criscuolo 8 (Murphy, Berggren), 3:30 (PP). 2, Grand Rapids, Lashoff 2 (Renouf, Berry), 3:56. 3, Grand Rapids, Yan 3 (Elson, Pickard), 7:08. 4, Grand Rapids, Shine 4 (Witkowski, Spezia), 9:56. 5, Grand Rapids, Murphy 4 18:51. Penalties-Yetman Rfd (tripping), 2:28; Witkowski Gr (elbowing), 4:10; Busdeker Rfd (roughing), 15:59; Murphy Gr (holding the stick), 16:39; served by Pour Rfd (bench minor - too many men), 20:00.

2nd Period-6, Rockford, Gicewicz 2 (Kurashev, Phillips), 5:32. 7, Rockford, Nylander 7 (Altybarmakian, Krys), 18:20. 8, Grand Rapids, Berggren 7 (Criscuolo, Hirose), 19:25. Penalties-Beaudin Rfd (roughing), 9:12.

3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Newpower Gr (boarding), 2:08; Barratt Rfd (cross-checking), 13:10; Pearson Gr (roughing), 13:21.

Shots on Goal-Rockford 10-8-14-32. Grand Rapids 14-10-5-29.

Power Play Opportunities-Rockford 0 / 4; Grand Rapids 1 / 5.

Goalies-Rockford, Delia 2-2-1 (10 shots-6 saves); Morris 0-0-0 (19 shots-17 saves). Grand Rapids, Pickard 8-5-2 (32 shots-30 saves).


Three Stars

1. GR Criscuolo (power-play goal, assist); 2. GR Berggren (goal, assist); 3. GR Shine (goal)

Record / Next Game

Grand Rapids: 8-8-2-1 (19 pts.) / Mon., Dec. 6 at Cleveland 7 p.m.

Rockford: 8-8-1-1 (18 pts.) / Wed., Dec. 8 at Iowa 7 p.m.

Images from this story

Grand Rapids Griffins right wing Matt Berry vs. the Rockford IceHogs
Grand Rapids Griffins right wing Matt Berry vs. the Rockford IceHogs

(Nicolas Carrillo/Griffins)

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