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GRIFFINS BITTEN BY WOLVES

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 3 at Chicago Wolves 4 OT

Feb. 15, 2012

ROSEMONT, Ill. –
The Grand Rapids Griffins rallied back from a two-goal deficit, but Billy Sweatt scored just 18 seconds into overtime to give the Chicago Wolves a 4-3 win at Allstate Arena on Wednesday night.

The Griffins (20-20-5-4) gained a valuable point to stay in the Western Conference playoff race. They’ll return home for three straight home games, the first coming on Saturday at 7 p.m. versus Peoria in the team's first-ever Purple Game.

The two hottest Griffins combined for the Griffins’ first goal at 3:46 of the opening frame. Chris Minard gathered a loose puck from behind the Chicago net and tried to jam it past goaltender Eddie Lack. Lack was able to keep the original try out, but Jamie Johnson shoveled home the rebound for his team-leading 18th goal of the season.

Two quick strikes from Tim Miller and Michael Davies gave the Wolves (28-18-1-3) a lead before the end of the first period. At 13:45, Nathan Longpre’s spinning shot was blocked, but Miller converted on a second opportunity to tie the game at one. Thirty-three seconds later, Davies was left alone in front and flipped his own rebound over Grand Rapids goaltender Jordan Pearce to put the Wolves up a goal.

After Jordan Schroeder made it 3-1 just 1:23 into the second period, Tom McCollum entered the game in relief of Pearce. The switch gave the Griffins some life and helped the team draw within a goal when Joakim Andersson banged home a rebound off a Minard shot at 10:59. The Griffins held a heavy shot advantage in the first 40 minutes (28-18), but Lack helped the Wolves enter the third period with a one-goal lead.

The Griffins' sustained pressure paid off in the third period, as Brendan Smith tied the game at 10:37 with his ninth goal of the season. Doug Janik collected the puck at the left point and set up Smith, who unleashed a slapshot that rang loudly off the post and fell behind Lack.

It took just 18 seconds of overtime before Sweatt sped down the left wing and snapped a shot past the glove of McCollum to seal Chicago’s victory.

McCollum made 15 saves in a relief effort for Grand Rapids, while Lack made 36 stops in the win.

Three Stars: 1. CHI Schroeder (goal, assist); 2. CHI Sweatt (game-winning goal, assist); 3. GR Johnson (goal, assist)

Griffins Game Rewind
AHLLive Video Highlights
WOOD Radio Highlights:  Andersson Goal   Smith Ties It   OT Winner
Flickr Photo Gallery
Official Game Report


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