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Daniel Larsson


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Daniel Larsson’s 22 saves and Aaron Gagnon’s shorthanded goal late in the second period provided the difference for the Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday, as they prevailed 3-2 over the Chicago Wolves in a hard-fought battle of rivals at Van Andel Arena.

Larsson improved to 4-0-1 in his last five decisions and helped the Griffins extend their home-ice point streak to six games (4-0-0-2), their longest since a 7-0 stretch from Jan. 13-Feb. 24, 2007. Grand Rapids, which has earned points in four of its last five games overall (2-1-0-2), will conclude its three-game home stand on Saturday with a 7 p.m. tilt against the Rochester Americans.

The Griffins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening period against former Grand Rapids netminder Dan Turple. Jakub Kindl set a career high with his fourth goal of the campaign during a power play at the 14:12 mark, unleashing a shot from the left boards the glanced off a Chicago defender and bounced past a screened Turple.

Jamie Tardif increased the margin with 2:47 left in the frame. Cory Emmerton dug the puck out of the right corner, darted to the right post and unsuccessfully tried to stuff the puck home, but Tardif crashed the net to clean up the rebound.

Chicago got on the board thanks to a nifty tic-tac-toe play 2:08 into the second period, as Brett Sterling redirected Steve Martins’ backdoor pass into the top of Larsson’s cage.

With 2:30 left in the period, an apparent goal by Darren Helm was waived off due to the net being dislodged, but it took only 27 more seconds for the Griffins to officially make it a 3-1 game. With Grand Rapids (10-5-2-3) on the penalty kill, Kindl hit Gagnon with a pass inside the Chicago zone, and the Dallas Stars prospect quickly snapped a shot through Turple’s five hole from the slot at 17:57 for his second goal in as many games.

The West Division-leading Wolves (12-6-1-1) kept clawing away and again cut their deficit to one 7:17 into the third, when Grant Stevenson pounded a rebound into a gaping net from the left side. But they could get no closer despite finishing the game with 38 seconds of a 6-on-4 advantage, giving them consecutive regulation losses for the first time this season.

Turple finished the night with 24 saves.

Three Stars: 1. GR Gagnon (game-winning goal); 2. CHI Sterling (goal, assist); 3. GR Emmerton (2 assists)
 

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