03/04/2009 7:40 PM
Photo by Mark Newman
Article By: Mike Peck
Grand Rapids, Mich.- A shorthanded Rockford IceHogs club couldn’t generated enough offense on Wednesday night in Grand Rapids and fell to the Griffins at Van Andel Arena 3-1.
Without their top three point scorers due to transactions earlier in the day, Rockford still peppered Daniel Larsson with 31 shots on goal. Rockford played with just 16 skaters, two below the allowable limit.
Grand Rapids notched the game’s first goal in the opening frame. Winger Francis Pare shelved his 20th goal of the season past Corey Crawford at 6:56. Evan McGrath and Aaron Gagnon set the marker up.
The Griffins moved the lead to 2-0 with a Ville Leino power-play goal in the second period. Leino picked up a Darren Haydar feed and snapped off his 11th goal of the season, beating Crawford at 8:18 of the middle stanza.
Rockford cut the deficit in half late the third period. Jack Skille blew his 17th goal of the season past Larsson at 19:02. Adam Pineault assisted the goal.
The comeback was halted, however, as Ryan Oulahen buried an empty net goal at 19:47 for his 18th goal of the season to seal it for Grand Rapids.
Crawford was solid once again for Rockford, turning away 36 Griffins shots, but was saddled with the loss. Larsson turned away 30 Rockford attempts in the win.
Next Home Game: Friday, March 6 vs. Quad City Flames. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. The IceHogs and Flames meet up in Rockford for the final time in 2008-09. The first 2,500 kids 14-and under will receive an IceHogs Lunch Tin courtesy of Rock Valley Culligan, Rockford Health Systems and 13 WREX.