GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins were home on Monday to square off with the Central Division-leading Chicago Wolves. The Griffins were coming off back-to-back come from behind wins against the Cleveland Monsters and would need to do the same after falling behind early to Chicago. The Griffins were not so fortunate this time as they fell to the Wolves, 5-1 for their first loss in regulation on home ice this season.
Chicago jumped on top in the first period when Phil Tomasino fired a puck on Kaden Fulcher, who was able to get a piece of it but could not keep it from finding the back of the net. The Griffins then committed back-to-back penalties and gave the Wolves a 5-on-3 advantage. Tommy Novak scored on the power play from below the right circle to give the Wolves a 2-0 lead, and then Anthony Richard was able to beat Fulcher for the Wolves’ second power-play goal on the night.
Grand Rapids looked to have scored a power-play goal one minute into the second period, as Kyle Criscuolo deflected a shot into the net, but the tally was waved off as Givani Smith was called for goalie interference.
As was the story for most of the contest, the Griffins were having issues staying out of the penalty box. Grand Rapids committed back-to-back penalties and gave the Wolves their second 5-on-3 advantage of the night. Anthony Richard connected for his second power-play goal of the evening, and the Wolves increased their lead to 4-0.
The Griffins got on the board as Dylan McIlrath tried to give the home team some life when he scored with just over three minutes remaining in the second period. McIlrath was able to beat Bibeau on the backhand off of a nifty pass from Gregor MacLeod to cut the Wolves lead to 4-1.
The Wolves were not going to let the Griffins play comeback kids for a third consecutive game, scoring 13 seconds into the third period, dashing any hope the Griffins had for a rally.
The Griffins finished 0-for-4 on the power play, while Chicago finished 3-for-8.
Kaden Fulcher took the loss, stopping 24 of 29 shots.
The Griffins will host the Rockford IceHogs on Wednesday, April 28, with game time set for 7 pm.