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WITHSTANDING THE WOLVES

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. – It took a while for the Grand Rapids offense to get going – but once it did, the goaltending and defense held on Thursday night in the Griffins’ 3-2 exhibition win over the defending Western Conference champion Chicago Wolves at West Meadows Ice Arena.

Following their exhibition-opening 6-2 victory at Milwaukee, the Griffins battled through a scoreless first period despite being out-shot 13-11. Logan Koopmans started out strong in net for Grand Rapids, and continued to stonewall the Wolves into the second period before giving way to Drew MacIntyre mid-way through the frame.

Center Patrick Jarrett initiated the Griffins’ attack in the second period with two power play goals. The first strike came on a 5-on-3 with assists from defenseman Jon Insana and forward Nate DiCasmirro; the second tally was assisted by veteran defenseman Bryan Helmer.

The Wolves managed to cut the lead to 2-1 mid-way through the third on a power-play goal by center Kevin Doell. Just over a minute later, Michael Hackert provided insurance for the Griffins with the eventual game-winner, with assists going to winger Ryan Keller and center Eric Manlow. Left wing Stephen Baby made a game of it late for Chicago, scoring with 3:29 left in regulation.

Grand Rapids out-shot Chicago 35-33 on the night, as they improved their pre-season record to 2-0.

The Griffins return home to close out the exhibition season against the Cleveland Barons Saturday night. Game time is 7:30 p.m. at Georgetown Ice Arena, located at 8500 48th Avenue in Hudsonville, Mich. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for children (17 and under), and are available at the door on game night.

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