[From the Griffins]
ROCKFORD, Ill. – If the 1,000th game in IceHogs history will be remembered by Rockford fans it’ll be for the wrong reasons, as the Grand Rapids Griffins rode five unanswered goals and a six-goal second period to a 9-4 win on Wednesday at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
Max Humitz, Riley Barber and Tyler Spezia each had two goals to pace a Griffins attack that threatened several franchise records and saw 13 players record points.
After Brandon Pirri gave the IceHogs the early lead with a power play goal 4:37 into the game, Humitz was originally credited with the tying goal at 8:15. It was soon changed to Dominik Shine on a deflection, but Humitz got one that counted from the slot 38 seconds later for his first goal as a pro and a 2-1 Griffins lead. Patrick Curry also netted his first pro goal from the bottom of the right circle during a power play at 16:40 to give Grand Rapids a two-goal cushion at intermission.
Humitz added his second tally of the night 48 seconds into the middle period on a breakaway after being sprung from the penalty box, before Spezia connected for his first marker at 2:07. Grand Rapids’ five-goal run was snapped by Pirri’s second at 3:39, pulling Rockford within 5-2, but the respite was short-lived for the hosts as the Griffins piled on four more goals before the period expired.
A power play goal by Barber at 6:54 extended his point streak to eight games, then a snipe by Turner Elson at 8:18 chased Rockford starter Collin Delia and ushered in Tom Aubrun for his AHL debut. Barber welcomed the rookie by notching his second goal less than two minutes later, before Spezia scored the Griffins’ ninth goal with 27:33 still remaining in the contest to mark the second two-goal game of his AHL career. Defenseman Donovan Sebrango earned his first pro point with an assist on that goal.
After racking up shot advantages of 22-11 in the first period and 21-4 in the second, the Griffins called off the dogs in the third, as each team registered six shots. Rockford made two of theirs count, as Lucas Carlsson scored 19 seconds in to make it three goals on the night for the two IceHogs who were assigned by the Chicago Blackhawks earlier today. Chris Wilkie beat Kevin Boyle at 7:07 to cut the final margin to five.
• The Griffins’ last nine-goal outing was a 9-1 win at Rockford on Feb. 5, 2016. They came within two goals matching of their team record, set in an 11-6 victory at – you guessed it – Rockford on Jan. 19, 2013.
• With his third straight two-point game, Barber moved into a tie with Toronto’s Tyler Gaudet for the AHL scoring lead with 12 points (7-5—12).
• Humitz’s three points matched the Griffins’ season-high set by Taro Hirose on Sunday in Chicago. Strangely, Hirose, Dennis Cholowski and Kyle Criscuolo – three of the Griffins’ top four scorers on the season – were among the five Grand Rapids skaters who did not find the scoresheet tonight.
• The Griffins’ six season-period goals fell one short of their franchise record for a period, set on Nov. 27, 2010 during the second period of a 10-8 win at Chicago.
• Despite approaching their franchise record for shots in a road period (23) during each of the first two stanzas, the Griffins finished the game with 49 shots, two shy of their record for a road game (51).
• The victory marked the 999th regular season win in Griffins franchise history (999-686-27-61-116, 0.583).
Grand Rapids 3 6 0 – 9
Rockford 1 1 2 – 4
1st Period-1, Rockford, Pirri 1 (Kalynuk, Franson), 4:37 (PP). 2, Grand Rapids, Shine 2 (Humitz, Pearson), 8:15. 3, Grand Rapids, Humitz 1 (Hicketts, MacLeod), 8:53. 4, Grand Rapids, Curry 1 (Loggins, Hicketts), 16:40 (PP). Penalties-Johnson Rfd (tripping), 1:22; McIlrath Gr (tripping), 4:23; Barber Gr (hooking), 10:32; J. Quenneville Rfd (tripping), 14:52; Humitz Gr (interference), 18:41.
2nd Period-5, Grand Rapids, Humitz 2 (Smith), 0:48. 6, Grand Rapids, Spezia 1 (McIlrath), 2:07. 7, Rockford, Pirri 2 (J. Quenneville, Kalynuk), 3:39. 8, Grand Rapids, Barber 6 6:54 (PP). 9, Grand Rapids, Elson 1 (Loggins), 8:18. 10, Grand Rapids, Barber 7 (Smith), 10:02. 11, Grand Rapids, Spezia 2 (Sebrango, Pearson), 12:27. Penalties-Fossier Rfd (roughing), 5:45; Dello Gr (high-sticking), 19:17.
3rd Period-12, Rockford, Carlsson 1 (Beaudin, Altybarmakian), 0:19 (PP). 13, Rockford, Wilkie 4 (Beaudin, Chalupa), 7:07. Penalties-Altybarmakian Rfd (roughing), 10:04; Wilkie Rfd (slashing), 13:23.
Shots on Goal-Grand Rapids 22-21-6-49. Rockford 11-4-6-21.
Power Play Opportunities-Grand Rapids 2 / 5; Rockford 2 / 4.
Goalies-Grand Rapids, Boyle 3-1-0 (21 shots-17 saves). Rockford, Delia 0-2-0 (30 shots-23 saves); Aubrun 0-0-0 (19 shots-17 saves).
1. GR Humitz (two goals, assist); 2. GR Spezia (two goals); 3. GR Barber (two goals)
Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 5-3-0-0 (10 pts.) / Thurs., March 11 at Rockford 7 p.m. EST
Rockford: 1-7-1-0 (3 pts.) / Sat., March 6 vs. Iowa 6 p.m. CST