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GR 3, CHI 4

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 3 at Chicago Wolves 4

Nov. 16, 2013

ROSEMONT, Ill.
— The Chicago Wolves’ special teams proved to be the deal breaker for the Grand Rapids Griffins as two shorthanded goals and a power-play tally helped the Wolves to a 4-3 decision over the Griffins on Saturday at Allstate Arena.

After earning at least one point in their first nine road games this season, the game marked the second consecutive regulation loss on the road for Griffins. However, their 10-4-1-1 overall record still kept them atop the Midwest Division in front of a three-way tie for second place between Chicago (9-6-0-1), the Milwaukee Admirals and the Rockford IceHogs. The Griffins will take on the Admirals at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Van Andel Arena.

Ryan Sproul opened up scoring for the Griffins at 7:13 of the first period with a shot that snuck in above Matt Climie’s left shoulder from a nearly impossible angle deep in the right circle.

The Griffins were awarded a power play opportunity when Joel Edmundson went to the box for interference at 8:03, but it was the Wolves who took advantage. Tom McCollum was behind his net to put a cleared puck into play, but Nathan Longpre stole the puck from him and wrapped it around into the empty net for the shorthanded tally at 9:44.

Chicago started the second period with 27 seconds of a five-on-three advantage, but the Griffins held them scoreless.

At 3:57, Longpre sent a pass to Cade Fairchild skating in the slot, but the puck took a fortunate bounce and landed on the stick of Sergey Andronov, who was standing to the left of McCollum’s net. Andronov’s shot from a sharp angle got past McCollum to make it 2-1. Dmitrij Jaskin provided a two-goal cushion for the home team with a power-play goal tipped in off a long pass from the point at 9:47.

The Griffins pulled within one goal when Nathan Paetsch sent a shot toward Climie that was redirected by David McIntyre into the net, his first goal of the season.

Grand Rapids headed into the second intermission down a goal, but it took them only 35 seconds into the final frame to tie the game. Gustav Nyquist controlled the puck in the Wolves’ right circle and fed it to a rushing Tomas Jurco, who carried the puck across the crease and backhanded it past a sprawled Climie.

Minutes later, a power play once again would work against the Griffins. A shorthanded wrister from the left circle by Taylor Chorney at 5:31 accounted for the difference.

McCollum turned away 20 of 24 shots in the loss, and Climie saved 23 of 26 shots.

Three Stars: 1. CHI Longpre (goal, two assists); 2. CHI Jaskin (goal); 3. CHI Regner
 

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