Griffins Concede Five in Loss at Chicago
<strong>GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 2 at Chicago Wolves 5</strong>
ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Chicago Wolves received their second win in nine games as the Grand Rapids Griffins suffered their third consecutive defeat in a 5-2 loss on Wednesday night inside Allstate Arena.
Oscar Dansk and the Wolves’ defense played well throughout the night stopping the Griffins’ third period comeback. Grand Rapids (9-10-1-1) cut the lead down to two goals with 13:09 left to play but the Wolves (9-12-1-0) never saw their lead disappear and held true for the rest of the contest.
The Griffins will continue their three games in four nights as they host the Manitoba Moose on Friday with puck drop set for 7 p.m.
The Wolves and the Griffins went back and forth in the opening 10 minutes as Grand Rapids held a 4-2 shot advantage. Joe Hicketts had the best chance in the early moments as his wrist shot from the blue line sped through a group of players but Dansk managed to get his stick on the puck and deflect it away from danger.
Chicago scored the game’s only power play goal at the 16:40 mark as Tye McGinn tallied his sixth of the season. Dylan Coghlan gathered the puck deep in the Griffins’ zone and centered a pass to McGinn in front of the net and his one-timer snuck inside the left goalpost.
The Wolves lit the lamp again with just 56 seconds left in the frame to take a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission. Gage Quinney, from the right wing, sent the puck toward the middle of the zone and Jimmy Schuldt took a slapshot that sailed over the right shoulder of Calvin Pickard.
Joe Veleno and the Griffins broke out on a 3-on-1 in the first minute of the second period but Veleno’s shot was blocked by the right skate of Dansk. Each team posted one shot in the opening eight minutes before Chicago extended its lead to three at the 8:24 mark.
Curtis McKenzie secured the puck behind the right goalpost and sent a pass toward the left circle where Jaycob Megna took a slapshot that zipped over the catching glove of Pickard for his second of the year.
Grand Rapids got on the scoreboard with 6:01 remaining in the frame when Chris Terry scored his team-high 10th goal of the season. Gustav Lindstrom centered the puck to Alec McCrea and his one-timer was blocked by a defender and bounced to the stick of Terry. Terry smashed the puck from the blue line, through multiple defenders and over the left shoulder of Dansk to make it a 3-1 game.
The Wolves pushed their lead back to three after McKenzie scored his first of two on the night at 18:37. A backhanded pass from Nicolas Roy on the right boards found a streaking McKenzie in the middle of the zone and his shot floated over the left shoulder of Pickard to make it 4-1 heading into the final period.
The Griffins did not go down without a fight as they peppered Dansk to start the third. After opening the period with a 5-1 shot advantage, Grand Rapids cut the lead back to two with 13:09 remaining. Hicketts took an initial shot from the left wing that was deflected back in between the circles and Dominic Turgeon rifled a one-timer that sped past the stick of Dansk.
Grand Rapids pushed its shot advantage to 12-1 before things turned back in favor of the Wolves in the final 10 minutes. Chicago put the finishing touches on the Griffins with 3:59 left in the contest. McKenzie forced a Griffins turnover in the neutral zone and skated down the left boards before firing a shot that ricocheted off the right goalpost and into the net, giving the Wolves a 5-2 victory.
Notes: Grand Rapids outshot Chicago 29-22…Pickard finished with 17 saves…The Griffins failed to convert on their two power plays.
Three Stars: 1. CHI McKenzie (two goals, two assists); 2. CHI McGinn (goal); 3. CHI Megna (goal)
[Post content courtesy of the Grand Rapids Griffins]