01/05/2013 10:17 PM
GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 4 at Chicago Wolves 3 SO
Jan. 5, 2013
ROSEMONT, Ill. – Led by a pair of goals from Luke Glendening, the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Chicago Wolves 4-3 in a shootout on Saturday at Allstate Arena.
The Wolves erased the Griffins two-goal advantage in the third period to send the contest into overtime. After a scoreless overtime period, Chad Billins scored the game-winning goal in the sixth round of the shootout, helping Grand Rapids improve to a 5-0 record against the Wolves this season.
Tom McCollum continued to be a major factor in the team’s 5-0 record against Chicago this season, posting a 4-0 mark, a 1.45 goals against average and a 0.946 save percentage in four appearances against the Wolves.
Chicago (14-13-3-1) jumped on the scoreboard first as Zack Kassian scored a power play goal at 9:22 of the first period. Brad Hunt found Andrew Ebbett on the right wing circle, who fed Kassian in front of the goal. Kassian redirected the puck past McCollum 18 seconds into the Chicago power play to give the Wolves a one-goal lead.
Glendening scored his second goal as a Griffin just over two minutes later to tie the game at one. As Landon Ferraro moved into the neutral zone, he found Glendening streaking down the middle. Glendening reached back to receive the pass and snuck a forehand shot between the legs of Matt Climie for the game-tying goal at 11:46 of the first period.
The Griffins (20-10-1-1) took advantage of a power play of their own just over one minute later when Gustav Nyquist was the benefactor of a rebound. Brendan Smith’s shot from the right hand circle was kicked away by Climie, but Nyquist was waiting for the rebound at the left circle. Nyquist snuck the puck by Climie before the goaltender could slide back across the goal, giving the Griffins their first lead of the night at 12:53 of the first period.
Glendening scored his second goal of the night early in the second period to give the Griffins a 3-1 lead. As Glendening chipped up the right wing, he fired a shot just as he approached the goal line. Climie had moved off the post, giving the East Grand Rapids native just enough space to sneak his shot between Climie’s shoulder and the post. The goal at 1:12 of the second period was the lone goal heading into the third period.
Ebbett ended the Griffins’ three-goal streak on a power play at 8:37 of the third period. As the Griffins scrambled under the Wolves’ pressure, Hunt found Ebbett on the right wing circle. Ebbett’s shot cut the Griffins lead to one goal as the puck slid under the right side of the cross bar.
Mark Matheson completed the comeback at 12:29 of the third period. Matheson received a backhand pass at the point from Kassian and used a quick release to shoot the puck through traffic and past McCollum, sending the game into overtime.
After a scoreless overtime period, the Griffins were stifled in the first four rounds of the shootout. But Tomas Tatar scored in the fifth round to keep Grand Rapids alive and send the shootout into a sixth. McCollum’s final save of the night paved the way for Billins’ game-winning goal. Billins faked to his right before bringing the puck back around and tucking it inside the left goal post.
Climie finished with 21 saves while McCollum earned the win behind 25 saves. With tonight’s win, McCollum ties Pokey Reddick for seventh in franchise history with 35 victories and passes Ian Gordon for fourth all time in games played.
The Griffins will stay on the road tomorrow, playing the Milwaukee Admirals at 4 p.m. EST at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Three Stars: 1. GR Glendening (two goals); 2. CHI Ebbett (goal, assist); 3. CHI Matheson (goal)