ROSEMONT, ILL – The Chicago Wolves barely edged out the Grand Rapids Griffins Saturday night 2-0 at Allstate Arena. Kasimir Kaskisuo had one of his best games of the season as his shutout fueled the win.
After an uneventful first period, Paul Thompson broke the scoreless tie at 6:48 of the second when he tipped the point shot from Dmitry Osipov above goaltender Jared Coreau. With the goal, Osipov recorded his first professional point and first with the Wolves, while Paul Thompson has now scored a goal in all three home games against the Griffins this season.The
The two teams traded shots and chances for the second, but the Wolves held onto a 1-0 lead.
As time began to tick off on the clock in the third, Grand Rapids turned on the pressure. The final few minutes of regulation saw an onslaught of chances by the Griffins as they pushed for the elusive tying goal, but big defensive plays by Jake Bischoff and Chris Casto kept many of them from getting close to Kaskisuo.
With just under 20 seconds left on the clock, Casto was able to break the puck to Paul Thompson whose empty-net goal secured the win for the Wolves, 2-0.
Kaskisuo stopped all 32 saves as he recorded his second shutout of the season, also against the Griffins. Coreau made 27 saves in the loss.
The victory improved the Wolves to 18-12-5-2 on the season and marked Chicago’s 14th-straight game with a point, tying the franchise record. Chicago is also on a five-game winning streak within the point streak and is now second in the Central Division.
Osipov could not find the words after the game to describe his excitement in recording his first professional point.
“It’s amazing. I can’t really tell you how much I’m excited, how much the boys [are] excited. It’s something incredible.”
Once again, head coach Rocky Thompson was pleased with the defenseman’s ability to jump in and play.
“It was good. Him and Kevin Lough they played really important minutes for us. Being in a back-to-back or three games in four nights was hard on our top four and it was so important for them to get the much-needed rest. You see the game-winning goal comes as a result of those other two being on the ice and Osipov getting a shot and Thompson tipping it in.”
At the same time, Rocky also praised the efforts of Kaskisuo.
“He was outstanding. He’s the reason we were able to win that game and then secure it and hold onto it late. To just even remember one save is so hard because he made half a dozen big, big saves. Our guys battled hard for them, and they didn’t want to let him down because he hadn’t let them down all game.”
Kaskisuo was more than satisfied with his effort.
“Whenever it’s my chance to play my goal is to get the win for the team. Of course, we got that and a shutout is a little special.”
Saturday’s game was also the first time the Wolves netminder had worn his new Chicago Wolves mask in a game, and he plans on donning it regularly in the future.
“Look good, feel good, play good.”
The best quote of the night came when the netminder was asked about his relationship with his posts, as the Griffins hit iron numerous times in their failed comeback bid.
“I’ve gotta ask the rink guys if I can bring them home tonight.”
The Chicago Wolves next travel to San Diego to take on the Gulls Wednesday for a 9 p.m. CST puck drop. As always, be sure to follow @SinBinWolves on Twitter for current news and game updates.