Griffins cruise to 2-0 series lead

Anthony Mantha’s first goal of the playoffs broke a 1-1 tie with 9:32 gone in the second period and Grand Rapids rolled to a 5-1 win over Rockford in Game 2 of the teams’ Western Conference semifinal series on Friday night.

The Griffins have a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series as the IceHogs prepare to host Game 3 on Wednesday.

Tyler Bertuzzi added his third goal of the playoffs, captain Jeff Hoggan scored his first of this postseason, and Teemu Pulkkinen continued his torrid pace with two goals and an assist in the third period. Pulkkinen has an AHL-best 11 goals in seven playoff games and has totaled 34-13-47 in his last 28 AHL contests overall.

Kevin Porter and Tomas Nosek each had two assists for the Griffins, who have won five in a row – all at home – since dropping the first two games of their opening-round series vs. Toronto.

Tom McCollum (5-1) made 28 saves for the win.

Brandon Mashinter scored the only goal for the IceHogs, while Michael Leighton (3-2) made 25 saves in the loss.

Western Conference Semifinals – Series “L” (best-of-7)
2-Grand Rapids Griffins vs. 4-Rockford IceHogs

Game 1 – Wed., May 6 – GRAND RAPIDS 5, Rockford 3
Game 2 – Fri., May 8 – GRAND RAPIDS 5, Rockford 1
Game 3 – Wed., May 13 – Grand Rapids at Rockford, 8:00
Game 4 – Thu., May 14 – Grand Rapids at Rockford, 8:00
*Game 5 – Sun., May 17 – Grand Rapids at Rockford, 5:00
*Game 6 – Tue., May 19 – Rockford at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., May 20 – Rockford at Grand Rapids, 7:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern