[From the Griffins]
GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 1 at Chicago Wolves 3
Feb. 5, 2021
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – Kyle Criscuolo provided an early spark in his first game with the Grand Rapids Griffins since hoisting the Calder Cup in 2017, but the Chicago Wolves responded with a goal in each period to take a 3-1 win in the 2020-21 season opener for both teams at the Triphahn Center Ice Arena on Friday.
Criscuolo opened the scoring 7:38 into the first period, cashing in assists from newcomer Riley Barber and Michael Rasmussen to tap the puck through Antoine Bibeau’s pads for a power play tally. Tom Novak answered on a pinball goal with 1:34 left in the frame, the only puck the Wolves could get past Pat Nagle despite a 12-5 advantage in shots over the first 20 minutes.
Seth Jarvis scored from close range 2:09 into the second period while Turner Elson was off for boarding, giving Chicago its first lead of the night at 2-1, and Cavan Fitzgerald capped off the scoring by blasting a shot past Nagle from the top of the left circle with 6:59 remaining in the third. Grand Rapids received a fifth and final power play chance with 5:43 left but was unable to get closer, falling in a road opener for just the third time in the last eight years.
• Defenseman Brian Lashoff logged his 501st game in a Griffins uniform and his first as the team’s captain.
• A 31-goal scorer with Hershey two seasons ago, Barber was the lone player who made his Griffins debut tonight. Goaltender Kevin Boyle, previously with San Diego, served as Nagle’s understudy.
• The Griffins took to the ice against an opponent for the first time in 331 days, dating to their 4-1 home win over Iowa on March 11, 2020. They’ll play three more games on the road before returning to Van Andel Arena on Feb. 20 for Opening Night presented by Huntington, when they’ll host the Cleveland Monsters at 4 p.m.
Grand Rapids 1 0 0 - 1
Chicago 1 1 1 - 3
1st Period-1, Grand Rapids, Criscuolo 1 (Barber, Rasmussen), 7:38 (PP). 2, Chicago, Novak 1 (Fitzgerald, Tomasino), 18:26. Penalties-Svechnikov Gr (hooking), 1:48; Smith Chi (boarding), 7:20; Spezia Gr (interference), 11:48.
2nd Period-3, Chicago, Jarvis 1 (Bokk, Tomasino), 2:09 (PP). Penalties-Elson Gr (boarding), 0:30; Jarvis Chi (slashing), 4:40; Bokk Chi (holding), 14:54; Cholowski Gr (slashing), 19:23.
3rd Period-4, Chicago, Fitzgerald 1 13:01. Penalties-Keane Chi (delay of game), 3:24; Keane Chi (holding), 14:17.
Shots on Goal-Grand Rapids 5-9-9-23. Chicago 12-9-8-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Grand Rapids 1 / 5; Chicago 1 / 4.
Goalies-Grand Rapids, Nagle 0-1-0 (29 shots-26 saves). Chicago, Bibeau 1-0-0 (23 shots-22 saves).
1. CHI Jarvis (power play goal); 2. CHI Fitzgerald (goal, assist); 3. CHI Philip Tomasino (two assists)
Records / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 0-1-0-0 (0 pts.) / Thurs., Feb. 11 at Chicago 3 p.m. EST
Chicago: 1-0-0-0 (2 pts.) / Sat., Feb. 6 at Rockford 3 p.m. CST