Anthony Mantha scored his AHL-leading sixth goal, but it wasn’t enough as the Rockford IceHogs handed the Grand Rapids Griffins their first loss of the season on Friday night at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, MI.
IceHogs goalie Lars Johansson recorded 27 saves on Friday in the 2-1 victory that had the Griffins furiously searching for an equalizing goal as time expired.
Rockford ended their season-long power play troubles (0-for-10) with a goal from Spencer Abbott with Griffins’ Evgeny Svechnikov in the penalty box for a hooking call. It was also the first time this season Rockford has held a lead.
Martin Lundberg added the IceHogs’ second power play goal at 7:35 of the third period that ricocheted off Jared Coreau’s blocker into the net, giving Rockford a 2-0 lead late in the game.
Mantha followed up for Grand Rapids by ruining the Rockford shutout and keeping his four-game streak alive with 10:07 remaining in the game, beating Johansson by rushing the goal off a Matt Lorito pass. He is only the second player in Griffins history to start a season with a four-game goal streak (Jiri Hudler 2005-06).
Coreau finished with 30 saves for the Griffins (3-1-0-0), who will host the Cleveland Monsters Saturday night back in Beer City, USA.
Ben Street and Mike Borkowski made their Griffins debuts.
- RFD Johansson (W, 27 saves)
- RFD Lundberg (goal)
- GR Mantha (goal)