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COAL IN THEIR STOCKINGS

GR 2, CHI 3

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 2 at Chicago Wolves 3

Dec. 21, 2013

ROSEMONT, Ill.
— Though the Grand Rapids Griffins fought back from a two-goal deficit on Saturday, a marker by the Chicago Wolves in the final minutes put the Wolves on top, 3-2, at Allstate Arena.

The Wolves have accounted for three Griffins’ losses this season, but Grand Rapids’ 21-6-1-1 record still is the best start in franchise history. The Griffins sit atop the Midwest Division with 44 points, and the Wolves (14-12-0-2) are in fourth with 30 points.

Mark Mancari gave the Wolves an early lead with a goal at 2:09 of the opening period. The Wolves capitalized on a turnover in the neutral zone and Mancari banked a wrister from the slot to put Chicago up 1-0 before the Griffins even had a shot on net.

At 2:25 of the second frame, the Wolves doubled their lead. Mancari maintained possession along the left boards before he found a rushing David Shields in the slot, who buried the puck.

The Griffins had an opportunity to pull the game within one with about 11 minutes to play in the second period when Teemu Pulkkinen tried to backhand the rebound of Mitch Callahan’s shot, but he was unable to control the bouncing puck. However, the Griffins found another opportunity at 13:16 when Brennan Evans scored from along the left wing boards, his second goal in three games.

Triston Grant evened the playing field for Grand Rapids with a goal 2:23 into the third period. David McIntyre won a faceoff in the home team’s zone and got the puck to Andrej Nestrasil, who launched a backhanded shot toward Jake Allen. Grant picked up the loose puck in the crease, wrapped it around the back of the net and snuck it in the right corner before Allen could get across.

With only 2:09 left to play, Dmitrij Jaskin scored the game-winning goal for the Wolves. Multiple Chicago players were swarming Tom McCollum’s crease, and he made a stick save but Jaskin was there to bury the rebound and seal the win.

McCollum made 33 saves in the loss, and Allen stopped 20 of 22 shots.

The Griffins will resume play after the holidays against the Milwaukee Admirals at 8 p.m. on Dec. 26 at BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Notes: The Detroit Red Wings on Saturday reassigned center Louis-Marc Aubry and defenseman Gleason Fournier from the Griffins to the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye.

Three Stars: 1. CHI Jaskin (game-winning goal); 2. CHI Mancari (goal, assist); 3. GR McIntyre (two assists)
 

Griffins Game Rewind
ESPN 96.1 Highlights: Mancari goal Shields goal Evans goal Grant goal Jaskin goal
Flickr Photo Gallery
Official Game Report

 


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