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Better Late Than Never

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 6 vs. Chicago Wolves 3

March 22, 2023

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Grand Rapids Griffins completed a stunning comeback in the final frame, scoring six goals to win 6-3 over the Chicago Wolves on Wednesday at Van Andel Arena.

After trailing 2-0 entering the third, Danny O’Regan, Chase Pearson, Pontus Andreasson, Taro Hirose, Riley Sawchuk and Joel L’Esperance each lit the lamp to take the lead and eventually the win. Six goals in a home period is a franchise record for Grand Rapids after scoring five on 13 previous occasions. Dominik Shine tallied a career high three assists, pushing his season total to 10. O’Regan, who kicked off the rally, recorded his 15th point in 13 outings with a goal and a helper on Andreasson’s game-tying tally. Charlie Curti made his AHL debut and added an assist to the scoresheet after Hirose deflected his pass into the back of the cage for the eventual game-winner.

3-22-23 | Highlights | Chicago Wolves

Grand Rapids gave up its fastest goal to start a game this season when Max Lajoie’s slot shot flew past Alex Nedeljkovic’s glove 35 seconds into the contest. Malte Stromwall tacked on a second score with 6:06 remaining in the first, firing a shot from the short side into the top shelf for a 2-0 lead.

Two penalties were called on each team in the second period after a clean-initial frame. As a result, the Griffins had 14 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage starting at 7:25, but they were unable to light the lamp.

O’Regan began the rally by rifling home a shot on the doorstep off of Shine’s feed at 1:31 to cut Chicago’s lead to one. On a power play at 7:12, Pearson sent a backhander past Zachary Sawchenko to knot the contest at two apiece. The Wolves recaptured their lead after Jamieson Rees’ wrister from the left circle got past Nedeljkovic just 31 seconds after Pearson’s goal.

The Griffins remained undeterred, scoring four-unanswered goals beginning with Andreasson’s snipe off the crossbar and in from the slot at 10:19 to tie it a three apiece. Hirose scored the game-winner at 10:38, deflecting in Curti’s pass from the left circle. Sawchuk and L’Esperance capped off the wild night with a one-timer from Sawchuk with 2:22 remaining and an empty-netter from L’Esperance at 18:14.

- Grand Rapids’ overall record for goals in a period is seven, set on Nov. 27, 2010 in the second period of a 10-8 win at Chicago.
- In games against Chicago, Nedeljkovic is 6-3-0 all time and has won five of his last six against the Wolves.
- The Griffins are 5-2-1-0 on the season against the Wolves.

3-22-23 | Post-Game Interviews | Chicago Wolves

Box Score
Chicago 2 0 1 - 3
Grand Rapids 0 0 6 - 6

1st Period-1, Chicago, Lajoie 9 (MacEachern, Stromwall), 0:35. 2, Chicago, Stromwall 15 (MacEachern, Lagesson), 13:54. Penalties-No Penalties

2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Spezia Gr (charging goaltender in crease), 2:01; Senyshyn Chi (holding), 5:39; Lagesson Chi (hooking), 7:25; Sawchuk Gr (tripping), 16:05.

3rd Period-3, Grand Rapids, O’Regan 13 (Shine, Andreasson), 1:31. 4, Grand Rapids, Pearson 4 (Shine, Weatherby), 7:12 (PP). 5, Chicago, Rees 13 (Suzuki, Seeley), 7:43. 6, Grand Rapids, Andreasson 11 (Shine, O’Regan), 10:19. 7, Grand Rapids, Hirose 15 (Curti, Weatherby), 10:38. 8, Grand Rapids, Sawchuk 3 (Spezia, Pearson), 17:38. 9, Grand Rapids, L’Esperance 22 (Weatherby, Barton), 18:14 (EN). Penalties-Dugan Chi (hooking), 5:15.

Shots on Goal-Chicago 9-8-10-27. Grand Rapids 6-9-11-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Chicago 0 / 2; Grand Rapids 1 / 3.
Goalies-Chicago, Sawchenko 12-18-2 (25 shots-20 saves). Grand Rapids, Nedeljkovic 13-9-3 (27 shots-24 saves).

Three Stars
1. GR Andreasson (goal, assist); 2. GR Shine (three assists); 3. GR Hirose (game-winner).

Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 26-29-4-3 (59 pts.) / Fri., March 24 at Iowa 8 p.m. EDT
Chicago: 26-28-3-3 (58 pts.) / Sat., March 25 at Texas 7 p.m. CDT

Photo by Mark Newman/Griffins

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