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DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins moved back into a tie with Manitoba for first place in the North Division and extended their point streak to a season-high nine games with a 6-3 win over the Chicago Wolves on Friday at Van Andel Arena.

Darren Haydar and Justin Abdelkader each had three assists to help Grand Rapids improve to 7-0-1-1 in its last nine outings, the team’s longest run of points in one season since an 11-game winning streak from March 5-31, 2006.

The Griffins (31-9-6-4), who improved to 11-1-2-1 in their last 15 overall and 12-1-2-1 in their last 16 at home, will host the Lake Erie Monsters on Saturday at 7 p.m.

A pinching Chicago defenseman was rewarded for his aggressive forecheck just 1:53 into the contest. As Jason Jozsa skated the puck out from behind his net, Chad Denny swooped toward the goal and, in one motion, whacked the puck off Jozsa’s stick and behind Daniel Larsson from the left side.

Later in the period, Jan Mursak tied the score with his first pro goal. Flying down the slot during an odd-man rush, he took a pass from Jamie Tardif and slung the puck past Ondrej Pavelec at the 15:16 mark.

The Griffins used a power play to take their first lead 6:14 into the second frame, when Garrett Stafford’s cannon from the top of the circles sailed through a crowd and into the back of the net. The cushion lasted less than three minutes, though, as Arturs Kulda’s wrister from just inside the blueline along the left boards was redirected by Jordan LaVallee at 8:37.

Ryan Oulahen put Grand Rapids back on top 3-2 with a power play goal at 12:31, tipping Abdelkader’s shot from the left circle through Pavelec’s pads from the doorstep. Newcomer Mike Walsh was then credited with his first goal of the season at 13:56 to make it a two-goal advantage. Logan Pyett’s shot from the right circle caromed off Walsh’s backside and fluttered just over the line, giving every player on Grand Rapids’ current roster a goal this season.

The teams traded tallies in the third, with Aaron Gagnon’s clean-up from the crease at 7:41 being answered by LaVallee’s second of the night at 10:32, before Evan McGrath’s shorthanded goal into an empty net sealed matters with 1:05 left.

Larsson made 25 saves to improve to 17-5-1 on the campaign, while Pavelec stopped 34-of-39 for the Wolves, who fell to 15-21-1-0 in their last 37 and 25-23-2-1 overall.

Three Stars: 1. GR Haydar (three assists); 2. CHI LaVallee (two goals); 3. GR Abdelkader (three assists)
 

Griffins Game Rewind
GriffVision Video Highlights
WOOD Radio Highlights: 1 2 3
Post-Game Sound Bites: 1 2 3
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