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Attack of the Wild


March 4, 2023

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Grand Rapids Griffins picked up a point in an 4-3 overtime loss to the Iowa Wild on Star Wars Night at Van Andel Arena.

With two assists, Taro Hirose passed Jiri Hudler for the seventh-most all time by a Griffins skater with 115 helpers. Danny O’Regan extended his point streak to five outings with a goal (2-5–7) and has 10 points in his last eight games (4-6–10). John Lethemon made his Griffins debut in goal, securing 37 saves on 41 shots. Michigan State has produced the most Griffins of any school, with Lethemon becoming the 22nd Spartan to play for Grand Rapids.

3-4-23 | Highlights | Iowa Wild

Hirose kicked off scoring on a power play, rifling a shot from the top of the left circle through traffic and into the back of the cage at 1:15. The goal was Hirose’s 13th of the year, tied with Austin Czarnik for the second most by a Griffin this season. Mike O’Leary, who had six points in two games against Grand Rapids this weekend, lit the lamp twice in the first at 4:28 and with 8:15 remaining for a 2-1 advantage.

The Griffins capitalized on a 5-on-3 opportunity to begin the second, as O’Regan’s one-timer from the left circle flew under the crossbar and in at 1:27. However, Iowa recaptured the lead with 3:43 remaining after Brandon Baddock’s shot slipped under the arm of Lethemon.

Just 1:05 into the third, Jared McIsaac rocketed a point shot off of Jasper Wallstedt’s pads and right in front of Albert Johansson on the doorstep. The defenseman buried it into the goal to knot up the contest and send it into overtime.

With 1:45 left in overtime, Nic Petan’s slot shot made its way past Lethemon to secure a 4-3 win over the Griffins.

- The Griffins finished the night 2-for-3 on the power play.
- Grand Rapids is now nine points from a playoff spot with two games in hand against the Wild, who currently hold fifth place in the Central Division.

Box Score
Iowa 2 1 0 1 - 4
Grand Rapids 1 1 1 0 - 3

1st Period-1, Grand Rapids, Hirose 13 (Czarnik, Kampfer), 1:15 (PP). 2, Iowa, O’Leary 9 (Curry), 4:28. 3, Iowa, O’Leary 10 (Giroux, Curry), 11:45. Penalties-Mermis Ia (high-sticking), 0:42; Shine Gr (hooking), 18:42; Fogarty Ia (slashing), 19:59; Ottenbreit Ia (roughing), 20:00; Edvinsson Gr (roughing), 20:00.

2nd Period-4, Grand Rapids, O’Regan 10 (Luff, Hirose), 1:27 (PP). 5, Iowa, Baddock 3 (Kaspick), 16:17. Penalties-Rossi Ia (hooking), 0:14; Pearson Gr (hooking), 5:10; Andreasson Gr (hooking), 17:53.

3rd Period-6, Grand Rapids, Johansson 5 (McIsaac, Hirose), 1:05. Penalties-Edvinsson Gr (cross-checking), 7:26.

OT Period-7, Iowa, Petan 17 (Mermis, Rossi), 3:15. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Iowa 11-13-13-4-41. Grand Rapids 10-9-7-0-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Iowa 0 / 4; Grand Rapids 2 / 3.
Goalies-Iowa, Wallstedt 14-12-4 (26 shots-23 saves). Grand Rapids, Lethemon 0-0-1 (41 shots-37 saves).

Three Stars
1. IA O’Leary (two goals); 2. IA Petan (game-winner); 3. GR Hirose (goal, two assists).

Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 22-26-4-2 (50 pts.) / Sat., March 4 vs. Iowa 7 p.m.
Iowa: 25-22-5-4 (59 pts.) / Sat., March 4 at Grand Rapids 6 p.m. CST

Photo by Nicolas Carrillo/Griffins

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