GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- For the second time in less than a week, the Grand Rapids Griffins completely dominated in shots on goal, only to come up short again at the hands of Matt Tomkins and the Rockford IceHogs, falling 2-1 in overtime. Dylan McLaughlin scored 19 seconds into the extra frame to seal the victory for the visitors.
Rockford spoiled the season debut for Griffins goaltender Calvin Pickard, who also turned in a solid performance. Pickard was on the Detroit Red Wings taxi-squad and was reassigned to Grand Rapids on Monday. He finished with 20 saves.
Grand Rapids struck first after capitalizing on a Rockford giveaway. Just over halfway into the first period, Alec Regula fired the puck right into the circle where Dylan McIlrath was waiting and found Chase Pearson right on the doorstep and redirected the puck into the net for the 1-0 advantage.
The IceHogs evened the score when Gabe Gagne banked home a McLaughlin pass after a scramble around Pickard’s net. The score stood at one goal apiece after 40 minutes of action. Despite the Griffins outshooting the IceHogs 15-9 in the second period, Tomkins made several key saves to keep Grand Rapids from running away with the game.
Rockford could only muster three shots in the final period while the Griffins were able to get off 16 shots. Tomkins was a wall, once again, making save after save to keep the game locked at one goal apiece. Regulation ended with the game headed to overtime for the second straight time.
McLaughlin, who scored the overtime winner on Saturday night, repeated his late-game heroics for the IceHogs as he found a loose puck and beat Pickard to seal the win for Rockford. That was his second goal of the season. His first was the overtime winner on Saturday night. Neither team scored on the power play as Grand Rapids finished 0/5 and Rockford finished 0/3. Tompkins stopped 46 of 47 shots while Pickard turned away 20 of 22 shots.
The Griffins record now stands at 6-3-2. The Chicago Wolves will be in town Friday night to take on the Griffins with puck drop just after 7 p.m. est.
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