GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 2 vs. Chicago Wolves 3 (SO)
March 29, 2023
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Grand Rapids Griffins’ comeback effort fell short in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Chicago Wolves on Wednesday at Van Andel Arena.
Carter Mazur made his pro debut, getting ice time on the power play, penalty kill and overtime. Dominik Shine scored in his 350th game as a pro, as the veteran forward fell to the ground in the crease and somehow got a shot off and lit the lamp in the second period. Joel L’Esperance recorded his 13th power-play goal of the season, the third most in the AHL.
John Lethemon displayed his tool kit in the first frame, saving 11 shots with his stick, pads, glove and even his facemask. However, Joseph LaBate finally beat the netminder by tapping in Griffin Mendel’s slot shot with a minute remaining.
At 6:57 in the second, Tuukka Tieksola broke away off of a Griffins turnover and buried a shot into the top shelf for a 2-0 lead. Grand Rapids responded with a pair of back-to-back goals to knot up the contest at 2-2 heading into the third. L’Esperance was first, deflecting the puck into the cage off of Jared McIsaac’s point shot into the crease on a power play at 12:12. Shine tied it with a physical tally after being shoved, but still found a way to finish on the doorstep with 6:57 remaining.
The Griffins held the Wolves without a shot from 4:40 to 19:11 during the third period, but they were unable to break the tie, sending the game to overtime.
Danny O’Regan was called for a hold at 3:03 in the extra frame, giving Chicago a 4-on-3 advantage for the remainder of overtime. However, Grand Rapids’ penalty kill held on to force a shootout by only allowing two shots.
Tieksola and Malte Stromwall’s shootout scores outmatched L’Esperance’s, giving Chicago the 3-2 win.
- Despite the loss, the Griffins are 15-2-4-4 in one score outings.
- Tonight was the seventh time in the GR-CHI series that a team has led 2-0. The team that fell behind 0-2 rallied to pick up a point in six of the last seven contests.
- Mazur is the eighth Denver Pioneer to play for the Griffins. Five of them won an NCAA Championship, spanning each of the school’s last four titles.
Chicago 1 1 0 0 - 3
Grand Rapids 0 2 0 0 - 2
1st Period-1, Chicago, LaBate 8 (Mendel, Honka), 19:00. Penalties-Pearson Gr (slashing), 9:14; Lagesson Chi (slashing), 10:52; Barton Gr (tripping), 12:46.
2nd Period-2, Chicago, Tieksola 7 6:57. 3, Grand Rapids, L’Esperance 24 (McIsaac, O’Regan), 12:12 (PP). 4, Grand Rapids, Shine 14 (L’Esperance, Lashoff), 13:03. Penalties-Fitzgerald Chi (tripping), 2:34; Rees Chi (holding), 12:07.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-LaBate Chi (high-sticking), 5:00.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-O’Regan Gr (holding), 3:03.
Shootout - Chicago 2 (Suzuki NG, Tieksola G, Stromwall G), Grand Rapids 1 (L’Esperance NG, O’Regan G, Hirose NG).
Shots on Goal-Chicago 12-9-6-4-1-32. Grand Rapids 8-14-8-0-0-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Chicago 0 / 3; Grand Rapids 1 / 4.
Goalies-Chicago, Sawchenko 14-18-3 (30 shots-28 saves). Grand Rapids, Lethemon 1-2-2 (31 shots-29 saves).
1. CHI Stromwall (shootout winner); 2. CHI Tieksola (goal); 3. GR L’Esperance (goal, assist).
Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 27-30-4-4 (62 pts.) / Fri., March 31 vs. Milwaukee 7 p.m.
Chicago: 28-28-4-3 (63 pts.) / Sat., April 1 vs. Rockford 7 p.m. CDT
Photo by Nicolas Carrillo/Griffins