No Foolin’: Mrazek Makes 43 Saves to Beat Griffins
<strong>GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 2 at Chicago Wolves 5</strong>
[From the Griffins]
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – The Grand Rapids Griffins won more than their share of games, plus the 2013 Calder Cup, when Petr Mrazek was between their pipes from 2012-15. On Thursday, they found out how the other half lived, as Mrazek made 43 saves on a conditioning stint from the Carolina Hurricanes to backstop the Chicago Wolves to a 5-2 victory at the Triphahn Center Ice Arena.
Mrazek, whose last AHL game was on March 6, 2015, had never played for any AHL team except Grand Rapids. His most recent game with Carolina came on Jan. 30, as he continues his recovery from thumb surgery.
The Griffins got to Mrazek just 2:56 into the game, as Turner Elson connected from the bottom of the left circle. With assists, Tory Dello recorded his first pro point, and Mathias Brome logged his first AHL point in his debut after being assigned by Detroit earlier this week.
But Chicago responded with a quick pair to take a 2-1 lead to the locker room. An unmarked Frederic Allard slammed a one-timer past Kevin Boyle from the slot at 9:37, before David Warsofsky’s blast from the blue line early in a power play popped off and over Boyle’s blocker at 10:32.
A scoreless second period saw the Griffins outshoot Chicago by a 23-8 margin, as Grand Rapids tied its franchise record for shots in a road period achieved on three prior occasions, most recently during the second period of a 5-3 win at Texas on Jan. 31, 2019.
A redirection by Tanner Jeannot at the top of the crease 1:48 into the third increased the Wolves’ lead to two, but Riley Barber cut the advantage to 3-2 with his team-high 11th goal of the season at 4:28, sniping a shot from the right faceoff dot two seconds after a Griffins power play expired. Anthony Richard responded in similar fashion, though, scoring as a Grand Rapids penalty ran out at 12:03 to make it a 4-2 game, then he added an empty netter with 25 seconds remaining.
• Barber’s 11 goals tie for second in the AHL while his 18 points tie for ninth.
• The regulation loss was the first for Boyle since his Griffins debut on Feb. 11, as he had gone 4-0-1 in his five previous decisions.
• In 87 regular season games with Grand Rapids, Mrazek posted a 54-27-1 record with a 2.21 GAA, a 0.920 save percentage and seven shutouts.
• The Griffins this season are 0-4 at the Triphahn Center Ice Arena and 8-1-2-0 in all other buildings.
Grand Rapids 1 0 1 - 2
Chicago 2 0 3 - 5
1st Period-1, Grand Rapids, Elson 2 (Dello, Brome), 2:56. 2, Chicago, Allard 2 (Evangelista, Shore), 9:37. 3, Chicago, Warsofsky 2 (Tomasino, Malone), 10:32 (PP). Penalties-Elson Gr (high-sticking), 7:13; Barber Gr (goaltender interference), 10:23.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Warsofsky Chi (tripping), 3:04; Jeannot Chi (hooking), 18:51.
3rd Period-4, Chicago, Jeannot 8 (Tomasino, Warsofsky), 1:48. 5, Grand Rapids, Barber 11 (Hirose, Cholowski), 4:28. 6, Chicago, Richard 4 (Fitzgerald, Allard), 12:03. 7, Chicago, Richard 5 (Suzuki), 19:35 (EN). Penalties-Allard Chi (slashing), 2:26; Warsofsky Chi (cross-checking), 4:58; Hicketts Gr (holding), 10:02; Tomasino Chi (tripping), 14:36.
Shots on Goal-Grand Rapids 8-23-14-45. Chicago 8-8-11-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Grand Rapids 0 / 5; Chicago 1 / 3.
Goalies-Grand Rapids, Boyle 4-2-1 (26 shots-22 saves). Chicago, Mrazek 1-0-0 (45 shots-43 saves).
1. CHI Mrazek (W, 43 saves); 2. CHI Allard (goal, assist); 3. CHI Richard (two goals)
Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 8-5-2-0 (18 pts.) / Sat., April 3 at Cleveland 7 p.m.
Chicago: 13-2-0-1 (27 pts.) / Sat., April 3 vs. Rockford 7 p.m. CDTxas 7 p.m. CDT