Chicago Wolves 6 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 2
Jan. 31, 2014
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – In front of Van Andel Arena’s third sellout crowd of the season, the Grand Rapids Griffins fell to the Chicago Wolves, 6-2, on Friday behind a 23-save performance by Wolves goaltender and 2014 AHL All-Star Team member Jake Allen.
The Griffins (28-13-2-2), who still hold on to an eight-point lead over the Midwest Division, surrendered two points to the second place Wolves (24-16-2-2) with tonight’s loss. The loss also tied the 10-game season series at four wins for each club.
Grand Rapids will get another chance at a win tomorrow when they face the Milwaukee Admirals at 8 p.m. at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Adam Cracknell kicked off the Wolves’ scoring tirade with a high wrist shot that beat Tom McCollum glove-side at 13:29 of the first period and Nathan Longpre notched the second marker a mere 1:12 later.
Entering the second period down two goals, the Griffins gave up yet another goal to Chicago just 12 seconds into the period. Just beyond McCollum’s crease, Cracknell scooped up a faltered Griffins pass and gave the Wolves a 3-0 lead with a quick wrist shot. It was Chicago’s third goal in eight shots.
At 4:54 of the middle frame, the Griffins were handed a break when a Wolves goal was waved off due to a high-sticking call against left wing Chris Porter. The infraction led to Grand Rapids’ first tally of the game when Mitch Callahan forcefully tipped in an Adam Almquist rifle from the point for a power play goal at 6:08.
The momentum wouldn’t last long for the Griffins as Chicago took back their three-goal advantage at 9:10 of the same frame. Seconds after Grand Rapids killed off a Triston Grant cross-checking penalty, Christian Hanson’s low attack was seemingly denied by McCollum. However, the puck trickled through his pads and Ty Rattie swooped in and tapped it just past the goal line to put the Wolves up 4-1.
Following a one-sided fight with Cody Beach in Jordin Tootoo’s favor, the third period took a wild swing with both teams scoring on the four-on-four. Almquist put home a laser in Allen’s top right corner at 6:44 to reduce the Griffins’ scoring deficit to two, which marked his second goal of the season. But 49 seconds later, Mark Cundari’s puck deflected into the net off of McCollum’s shoulder, restoring Chicago’s three-goal advantage.
A tic-tac-toe play by Chicago at 18:08 of the third period found Alexandre Bolduc’s puck buried deep in the back of the net, and the Wolves held on to their lead to defeat the Griffins, 6-2.
McCollum finished with 22 saves.
Notes: The Griffins have lost each of their three home sellouts this season…Almquist, Calle Jarnkrok and Teemu Pulkkinen all contributed to Grand Rapids’ scoring this evening, extending each of their point streaks to four games.
Three Stars: 1. CHI Cracknell (two goals, assist); 2. CHI Chorney (two assists); 3. GR Almquist (goal, assist)