GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 6 vs. Iowa Wild 2
Dec. 7, 2022
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Grand Rapids Griffins’ offense exploded in a 6-2 victory over the Iowa Wild on Wednesday at Van Andel Arena.
Lukas Craggs, Alex Chiasson and Gordie Green all made their Griffins debut tonight, as Craggs tallied an assist and Chiasson notched two apples in the win. Taro Hirose added three helpers to his team-leading assist total while Joel L’Esperance and Steven Kampfer each chipped-in two goals. Pontus Andreasson continued his hot streak by scoring the second goal of the night. The rookie now has 14 points in his last 13 games (7-7–14) and is third on the team in total points (7-8–15).
At 2:39 in the initial frame, Albert Johansson fired a shot from the top of the left circle behind Zane Mclntyre for his first goal in North America. Magnus Hellberg fended off 16 shots from the Wild in the stanza, keeping the Griffins ahead after their early goal.
Grand Rapids’ power-play unit lit the lamp twice in the second, beginning with Andreasson at 1:32. From the goalmouth, Chiasson slid a pass to Andreasson in the right circle and the Swede rifled a one-timer into the cage to go up 2-0. Posting up in the crease, L’Esperance notched the second power-play goal for the Griffins at 8:42 by tipping-in Hirose’s pass to increase the Griffins’ lead to three.
The Wild made things interesting with a power-play tally at 4:15 in the final frame from Dakota Mermis, but Kampfer responded with a shot from the slot past Mclntyre just 36 seconds after Iowa’s first goal. At 7:50, Sammy Walker scored from the crease to make it 4-2.
However, L’Esperance’s shot with 9:39 remaining was tipped around in the goalmouth by several players before eventually flipping over the head of Mclntyre to push the Griffins’ lead back to three. After Iowa pulled their netminder at 14:39, Kampfer found the back of the net with 2:57 remaining by sending in an empty-net goal from the Grand Rapids zone to cap off a 6-2 win for the Griffins.
- Hirose now has 150 points as a pro after tallying three assists tonight.
- After the win, Andreasson is tied for seventh in goals scored by rookies in the AHL this season.
- Hellberg finished the night not only with the victory, but also with 40 saves.
Iowa 0 0 2 - 2
Grand Rapids 1 2 3 - 6
1st Period-1, Grand Rapids, Johansson 1 (Craggs, Smith), 2:39. Penalties-Kaspick Ia (interference), 7:53; Milne Ia (high-sticking), 11:03; Edvinsson Gr (roughing), 11:03; Smith Gr (interference), 14:39; Edvinsson Gr (interference), 18:56.
2nd Period-2, Grand Rapids, Andreasson 7 (Chiasson, Hirose), 1:32 (PP). 3, Grand Rapids, L’Esperance 9 (Hirose, Kampfer), 8:42 (PP). Penalties-Hicketts Ia (interference), 0:46; Fogarty Ia (tripping), 8:10; Mermis Ia (cross-checking), 10:26; Fogarty Ia (roughing), 19:26; Hicketts Ia (roughing), 19:26; Edvinsson Gr (roughing), 19:26.
3rd Period-4, Iowa, Mermis 1 4:15 (PP). 5, Grand Rapids, Kampfer 2 (Chiasson, Hirose), 4:51. 6, Iowa, Walker 11 (Johansson, O’Rourke), 7:50. 7, Grand Rapids, L’Esperance 10 (Spezia, McIsaac), 10:21. 8, Grand Rapids, Kampfer 3 17:03 (EN). Penalties-McIsaac Gr (hooking), 2:44; Spezia Gr (hooking), 8:01; Beckman Ia (high-sticking), 8:04; Craggs Gr (high-sticking), 14:39; O’Leary Ia (slashing), 18:54; Rossi Ia (tripping), 19:32.
Shots on Goal-Iowa 16-10-16-42. Grand Rapids 10-18-9-37.
Power Play Opportunities-Iowa 1 / 4; Grand Rapids 2 / 8.
Goalies-Iowa, McIntyre 5-4-0 (36 shots-31 saves). Grand Rapids, Hellberg 1-1-0 (42 shots-40 saves).
1. GR L’Esperance (two goals); 2. GR Hirose (three assists); 3. GR Chiasson (two assists).
Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 9-11-1-0 (19 pts.) / Fri., Dec. 9 at Springfield 7:05 p.m.
Iowa: 9-8-2-2 (22 pts.) / Fri., Dec. 9 at Rockford 7 p.m. CST
Photo by Nicolas Carrillo/Griffins