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Five Points for Griffin-dor

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 3 at Chicago Wolves 1

March 12, 2023

ROSEMONT, Ill. - The Grand Rapids Griffins ended the three-game weekend in style with a 3-1 win over the Chicago Wolves on Sunday at Allstate Arena.

The Griffins finished the weekend with five of six possible points in three matchups. Matt Luff, Danny O’Regan and Taro Hirose each extended their point streaks, with Luff pushing his run to five games (2-4–6) and Hirose (1-3–4) and O’Regan (1-3–4) recording a point or more in each game this weekend. In his last eight appearances, Hirose has 10 points (2-8-10) and is currently tied in 13th place in assists in the AHL with 35. Alex Nedeljkovic also secured his 100th victory in the AHL with 28 saves on 29 shots as well as an assist on Dominik Shine’s empty-netter to seal the win.

3-12-23 | Highlights | Chicago Wolves

The Griffins outshot the Wolves 9-6 in the opening frame and were the lone team to light the lamp. At 15:31, Luff intercepted a pass behind the net and found Hirose in the crease, allowing him to tap the puck between the pads of Zachary Sawchenko for a 1-0 lead.

Grand Rapids’ penalty kill fended off two power-play opportunities for Chicago to begin the second period. With a 5-on-3 advantage at 10:37, Hirose reached out his stick to retain the puck in the left circle and flung a slick pass to O’Regan on the doorstep. O’Regan buried the shot, giving the Griffins a 2-0 lead and their seventh power-play goal in five outings. The Wolves quickly responded at 11:54, as Ryan Dzingel scored in his first game back from injury to cut their deficit to one.

The Griffins killed off another pair of power-play chances for Chicago in the third, helping them retain their lead down the stretch. The Wolves pulled Sawchenko with 2:38 remaining, allowing Nedeljkovic to send a heave down the ice for a potential goalie goal. His attempt glided wide left, setting up Shine to score an empty-netter from the left circle at 18:37.

- Five-consecutive games with a power-play goal ties Grand Rapids’ longest streak of the season from Oct.23-Nov.4.
- Donovan Sebrango skated in his 150th professional game while his teammate Wyatt Newpower played in his 100th as a Griffin.

Box Score
Grand Rapids 1 1 1 - 3
Chicago 0 1 0 - 1

1st Period-1, Grand Rapids, Hirose 14 (Luff), 15:31. Penalties-Sucese Chi (slashing), 2:26; Senyshyn Chi (hooking), 11:56; Nedeljkovic Gr (roughing), 20:00.

2nd Period-2, Grand Rapids, O’Regan 11 (Hirose, Luff), 10:37 (PP). 3, Chicago, Dzingel 1 (Suzuki), 11:54. Penalties-Newpower Gr (tripping), 2:27; served by Drury Chi (holding), 6:35; MacEachern Chi (delay of game), 8:37; Sucese Chi (hooking), 9:31; L’Esperance Gr (diving/embellishment), 18:17; Lagesson Chi (holding), 18:17.

3rd Period-4, Grand Rapids, Shine 12 (Nedeljkovic), 18:37 (EN). Penalties-L’Esperance Gr (hooking), 0:44; O’Regan Gr (hooking), 11:27; Rees Chi (holding the stick), 11:27; Dzingel Chi (cross-checking), 19:38.

Shots on Goal-Grand Rapids 9-9-7-25. Chicago 6-7-16-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Grand Rapids 1 / 6; Chicago 0 / 3.
Goalies-Grand Rapids, Nedeljkovic 11-8-3 (29 shots-28 saves). Chicago, Sawchenko 11-17-1 (24 shots-22 saves).

Three Stars
1. GR Hirose (goal, assist); 2. GR Nedeljkovic (W, 28 saves); 3. CHI Dzingel (goal).

Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 24-27-4-3 (55 pts.) / Thu., March 16 at Cleveland 7 p.m.
Chicago: 25-26-3-2 (55 pts.) / Fri., March 17 at Milwaukee 7 p.m. CDT

Photo by Dale Woltman/Wolves

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