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Griffins Have Points in 18 Consecutive Games; Can Tie Record Monday



matt luff, grand rapids griffins
Matt Luff scored his first goal of the season (Photo courtesy of Grand Rapids Griffins)

The Grand Rapids Griffins extended their points streak to 18 games Saturday and yet came away with mixed feelings after squandering a third-period lead in falling 5-4 in overtime to the Rockford IceHogs.

Coach Dan Watson’s team led 3-1 midway through the third when the IceHogs struck for three goals in a span of one minute and 28 seconds to grab the lead. Grand Rapids was able to force overtime on a goal by Joel L’Esperance with 2:41 left in regulation.

“It’s a good learning experience — you can’t go into the third and get comfortable,” said Griffins player Matt Luff who had a goal and an assist.

The messiness of the Griffins’ game started in the second period with a parade of players going to the penalty box.

“The second period was a bit of a gong show,” Luff said. “Getting away from our game with all of the penalty kills.”

The Griffins did feel good about pushing for the tying goal against the skillful and fast IceHogs squad. Grand Rapids can tie the franchise record of 19 consecutive games with a win or point on Monday at Cleveland. The Griffins’ last 19-game run with at least one point was last accomplished in 2015.

Jonatan Berggren picked up a pair of assists to extend his points streak to five games (2-5-7). Carter Mazur scored his 14th goal and Marco Kasper his 10th. Luff, recently recovered from injury, scored his first goal of the season.

Goalie Sebastian Cossa played for Grand Rapids against the IceHogs, who are the Chicago Blackhawks’ farm team. Cossa made 21 saves to extend his personal points streak to 10 games (7-0-3).