GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – If there is one thing we can all count on, it is that when the Griffins and Wolves get together, we know it will be interesting. This game did not disappoint. Just as the Griffins snapped the Wolves winning streak on Friday night, the Wolves returned the favor by snapping the Griffins’ four-game streak, doubling up the Griffins, 8-4.
Grand Rapids had only allowed 11 goals total over six games this season. They came into the game, allowing one goal per game during their winning streak. Chicago got the goal scoring started early when Phil Tomasino found the back of the next just 48 seconds into the game. But the Griffins answered back on a power-play goal from Taro Hirose to knot the game at one. The Wolves would answer on a power-play goal of their own when Jamieson Rees scored to put the Wolves back on top 2-1. Ress would then add another nearly three minutes later to give Chicago a 3-1 advantage. Grand Rapids would not go away as Dennis Cholowski added a power-play goal for the Griffins to cut the Wolves’ advantage to one. The first period ended with the Wolves on top, 3-2. As expected, the Wolves came out and were able to control the game’s pace for much of the period, just as the Griffins did on Friday night.
The Wolves quickly regained a two-goal advantage as Calvin Fitzgerald beat Pat Nagle from the right circle to put the Wolves up 4-2 just under four minutes into the second period. Chicago rookie Seth Jarvis added a goal to put the Wolves up 5-2, which equaled the end of the day for Nagle, leaving Kevin Boyle to stop the bleeding. The Griffins connected as Kyle Criscuolo gave the Griffins a little bit of life, cutting the Wolves lead to 5-3. Michael Rasmussen found Criscuolo for his third goal against the Wolves this season.
The Griffins were 2-for-2 on the power play, and just as their third, and only unsuccessful, power-play of the game was ending, Chicago found themselves on a 2-on-1 rush and was able to beat Boyle to go up 6-3 on a Rem Pitlick goal. The second period ended with the Griffins down by three goals. The second period saw Dominic Turgeon and Josh Healey drop the gloves, which highlighted another physical period by both teams.
Grand Rapids came out for the third period needing a goal quickly, and they got one from Riley Barber; this one also on the power play to cut the Wolves lead to 6-4. But the Wolves offense was too much for the Griffins defense and goaltending as Chicago would add goals from Sean Malone and David Cotton. The Cotton goal came on a power play with only 11 seconds remaining in the game, capping off an 8-4 win for the Wolves. The third period saw another scrap, this time between Dominik Shine and Joey Keane.
On a positive note for the Griffins, they have now scored on nine of their 31 power play opportunities (29%) this season, including going 3-for-4 during this game. All of the Griffins losses this season have come while visiting the Triphahn Center.
Next up for Grand Rapids is a trip to Rockford, Illinois, to clash with the IceHogs tomorrow night. Puck drop for that game will be just after 7 p.m. ET.