Rockford Rallies for Overtime Win
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Luke Johnson's goal with 0.6 seconds left in overtime completed the Rockford IceHogs' comeback from a two-goal deficit and gave the visitors a 3-2 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday at Van Andel Arena.
With a shootout looming as the final seconds of an entertaining overtime ticked away and the IceHogs rushing up ice, Graham Knott fired a shot through traffic that Harri Sateri stopped, but Johnson popped home the rebound at the left post to lift Rockford to its second 3-2 overtime win in Grand Rapids this season (Dec. 14) and its third such decision overall in the series (Dec. 7).
Still, the Griffins (30-16-4-4) extended their home-ice point streak against the IceHogs to eight games (6-0-2-0) and increased their lead atop the Central Division to four points over Iowa. They'll conclude their season-high seven-game homestand on Friday in a 7 p.m. start against the Texas Stars.
The Griffins, who needed more than 58 minutes to score their first goal in last Saturday's incredible 3-2 overtime win against San Antonio, lit the lamp only 1:21 into this contest. Dennis Cholowski put a wrist shot on net from the left point that Anton Forsberg stopped, but Wade Megan was waiting just outside the paint to put away a backhand. With an assist on the play, Filip Zadina extended his personal season-high point streak to six games (4-4 - 8).
A power play goal by Matt Puempel doubled Grand Rapids' cushion at the 16:06 mark. After Carter Camper's slap shot from above the circles was denied by Forsberg's blocker, Puempel chipped the puck into a gaping net from the left side for his 19th goal of the season.
Rockford (26-21-3-5) benefited from a fluky play to spark its rally 13:21 into the second period. From the right corner, Peter Holland - making his IceHogs debut after being traded by the New York Rangers to the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday - sent a pass into the circle for Jordan Schroeder, who fanned on his attempt at a one-timer. But Sateri committed to the expected shot, and when the puck instead slid cleanly through to Joni Tuulola in the high slot, the IceHogs blueliner put a shot just inside the left post before Sateri could dive across.
Down 2-1 entering the third, the IceHogs quickly tied it during a power play when Schroeder smacked the rebound of a Holland shot into the net from the bottom of the right circle at 1:19. The Griffins survived a late penalty to Brian Lashoff, who was whistled off for interference after leveling William Pelletier at center ice with 4:50 remaining, and the game progressed to overtime.
Thirty seconds into the extra session, Zadina nearly ended it with a dazzling spin-o-rama move in the high slot, but his backhand rang off the right post. After Sateri robbed Jacob Nilsson during a 2-on-1 and stoned a break by Knott, Forsberg answered by denying a Zadina breakaway with 1:21 left, and he made another save on Joe Hicketts with 14 seconds showing to set the stage for Johnson's heroics.
Sateri made five saves in the wide-open overtime as part of his 26 on the night, while Forsberg's four gave him 37 at the finish.
Three Stars: 1. RFD Johnson (overtime goal); 2. GR Puempel (power play goal); 3. RFD Schroeder (power play goal)
• Discuss this story on the American Hockey League message board...
American Hockey League Stories from February 20, 2019
- Redmond's Return Powers Amerks to 4-2 Win over Monsters - Rochester Americans
- Rockford Rallies for Overtime Win - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Crunch Top Rocket, 4-2 - Syracuse Crunch
- Monsters Upended by Amerks, 4-2 - Cleveland Monsters
- Anaheim Ducks Assign Eaves to Gulls - San Diego Gulls
- Bischoff Rejoins Wolves - Chicago Wolves
- Colorado Eagles Announce Eighth Annual "Pot of Gold" Recipient - Colorado Eagles
- Tampa Bay Lightning Recall Forward Mathieu Joseph from Syracuse Crunch - Syracuse Crunch
- Jeff Taylor Reassigned to Wheeling - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
- Dallas Stars Sign Defenseman Joel Hanley to Two-Year Contract Extension - Texas Stars
- Goaltender Chris Nell and Forward Zac Lynch Join Hartford Roster - Hartford Wolf Pack
- Amerks to Deliver Coffee and Donuts to Local Firehouses and Police Stations Thursday Afternoon - Rochester Americans
- Game #48 Preview: Tucson at San Diego - Tucson Roadrunners
- Moose Unable to Catch Marlies - Manitoba Moose
- Coyotes Assign Bunting to Tucson - Tucson Roadrunners
- Heat Head to Ontario for Wednesday Showdown - Stockton Heat
- P-Bruins Week in Review - Providence Bruins
- Admirals Sign Roy, Carlson to PTOs - Milwaukee Admirals
- Devils Sign Nick Saracino to AHL Contract - Binghamton Devils
- Florida Panthers Reassign F Patrick Bajkov to Springfield - Springfield Thunderbirds
- Marlies Host Moose for School Day Game - Toronto Marlies
- The Bridgeport Report: Week 20 - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Iowa Loses 2-1 in Overtime to Texas - Iowa Wild
- Stars Begin Road Trip with 2-1 Overtime Win - Texas Stars
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.
Other Recent Grand Rapids Griffins Stories
- Join the Griffins in Helping Kids' Food Basket's COVID-19 Emergency Response
- Griffins Ink Patrick Curry to Two-Year Deal
- Max Humitz, Tory Dello Signed to One-Year Contracts
- Puempel and Pickard Power Griffins to Win
- Griffins Sign Notre Dame's Tory Dello to Amateur Tryout