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GRIFFINS BOUNCE BACK WITH 4-3 WIN

ROSEMONT, Ill. – Four consecutive goals, two of which came in a 51-second span, catapulted the Grand Rapids Griffins to a 4-3 win over the Chicago Wolves on Saturday night at Allstate Arena. Chicago is now 12-1-1-0 in its last 14 home outings, with the lone blemishes coming courtesy of the Griffins. Grand Rapids trails the Houston Aeros by five points in the race for fourth place in the division.

Chicago (41-20-5-2) cashed on its initial power play of the game when Lonny Bohonos found Jay Bouwmeester with a cross-crease pass. The defenseman snuck in from the point and tapped a shot that handcuffed Griffins netminder Joey MacDonald and trickled into the net at 9:42 of the first period.

Bouwmeester opened a two-goal margin at 2:03 of the second period when his centering pass ricocheted off MacDonald’s leg into the net. The goal was Bouwmeester’s ninth of the season and fifth in a Chicago uniform in his sixth game with the club. Bouwmeester tallied four goals in 64 games with San Antonio.

Derek Meech made it 2-1 when he chased down a loose puck and blasted it through a screen 6:31 into the middle frame.

Eric Manlow knotted the score at 2-2 with just over six minutes remaining in the second stanza. Darryl Bootland carried the puck into the Chicago zone and dropped a pass to Niklas Kronwall. Kronwall fired from the point, but his shot was blocked in front of the net. Manlow gathered the loose puck and popped it over a sprawled Garnett.

Shortly following a sparkling save by MacDonald on Karl Stewart’s shorthanded attempt, the Griffins took a 3-2 lead. Tomas Kopecky found the puck loose under Garnett and deposited it into the open net at 6:27 of the third period.

Just 51 seconds later, Grand Rapids opened its own two-goal lead on a goal when Jiri Hudler wristed a shot between Garnett’s arm and body. Hudler gathered the puck and cruised behind the Chicago net. He circled wide, allowing traffic to gather in front of Wolves netminder , before firing his eighth goal of the season.

With their net empty, the Wolves pulled within one when Brad Larsen scored a shorthanded goal 1:18 remaining in regulation. Bouwmeester fired a low shot from the middle of the blue line which Larsen deflected about five feet in front of MacDonald to make the score 4-3.

Grand Rapids was whistled for a penalty with 48 ticks on the clock. Chicago pulled its netminder for a two-man advantage. The Wolves peppered MacDonald with several attempts, but the Griffins’ netminder was up to the task.

MacDonald finished with 42 saves for his 26th win while Garnett turned aside 23 in a losing effort.

The Griffins return to Van Andel Arena to host the Edmonton Road Runners Sunday at 4 p.m.


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