Rockford, IL – For the first time in 422 days, the Rockford IceHogs (10-15-1-0) welcomed Season Ticket Holders back inside BMO Harris Bank Center as they took on the Grand Rapids Griffins (12-9-3-0), earning an energetic 3-2 victory Saturday night. Forward Dylan McLaughlin recorded a goal and an assist and forward Brandon Pirri extended his point streak to a team season-high five games with a power-play goal.
Feeding off the energy of the crowd, the IceHogs opened the scoring on the man advantage at 15:52 as Pirri netted his sixth goal of the season. Moments later, McLaughlin fired up the crowd again with a shorthanded goal at 18:59.
In the second period, the IceHogs built a 3-0 lead off the stick of defenseman Alec Regula, sneaking a shot past a screen and the blocker of Griffins netminder Kevin Boyle (L, 22 saves on 25 shots) at 6:21. Immediately off the restart, Griffins forward Taro Hirose answered back with his third goal of the season at 6:34.
Griffins forward Dominic Turgeon pulled the contest within a goal 7:05 into the third period, but IceHogs goaltender Ivan Nalimov (W, 17 saves on 19 shots) and the defense limited the Griffins chances late in the contest to seal the victory and earn their first home win of the head-to-head series (3-4-0-0)
The IceHogs went 1-for-3 on the power play while the Griffins went 0-for-4.
The Rockford IceHogs close a three-game set against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Monday, May 3 at 6:00 p.m. at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, MI.