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Once Bitten

Chicago Wolves 5 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 1

April 26, 2021

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - It took until their ninth home game of the season for the Grand Rapids Griffins to suffer a regulation loss at Van Andel Arena, as the Central Division-leading Chicago Wolves skated to a 5-1 victory on Monday.

The Wolves scored three power play goals, including a pair of 5-on-3 tallies, to snap both their three-game winless skid and the Griffins’ four-game point streak, dropping Grand Rapids to 5-1-3-0 on home ice. It marked the first loss by a home team in six meetings between the rivals this season.

The Wolves struck just 2:05 into the game, as Kaden Fulcher got a piece of Phil Tomasino’s shot from close quarters but couldn’t keep the puck from bouncing over the line. Chicago then took advantage of consecutive Griffins penalties late in the period to increase its lead to 3-0, as Tommy Novak slammed a shot into the back door from below the right circle for a 5-on-3 goal at 17:22, and Anthony Richard connected from the top of the left circle during the subsequent 5-on-4 at 18:17.

The Griffins appeared to score during a power play in the opening minute of the second period, but Kyle Criscuolo’s deflection from the slot was waved off due to inadvertent goalie interference by Givani Smith on Antoine Bibeau.

Simultaneous Grand Rapids infractions midway through the period gave Chicago another 5-on-3, this one for a full two minutes, and Richard notched his second power play marker on a one-timer from the bottom of the right circle at 10:24.

Dylan McIlrath put the Griffins on the board at the 16:27 mark, finishing off a give-and-go with Gregor MacLeod out of the right corner by scooping a backhand past Bibeau from the slot, making it a 4-1 game.

Novak answered just 13 seconds into the final frame, whipping home his second of the night from the right hashmarks to push the Wolves’ cushion back to four.

4-26-21 | Highlights | Chicago Wolves

Notes

  • The Griffins were outshot (24-29) for just the fourth time in 21 games this season.
  • McIlrath’s six penalty minutes put him past 1,000 for his nine-year pro career (1,003). He has points in three of the last five games (1-2—3).
  • MacLeod owns an AHL career-high three-game point streak (1-2—3) and has points in five of his last seven appearances (1-4—5).

4-26-21 | Interviews | Chicago Wolves

Box Score
Chicago 3 1 1 - 5
Grand Rapids 0 1 0 - 1

1st Period-1, Chicago, Tomasino 9 (Rempal), 2:05. 2, Chicago, Novak 4 (Tomasino, Bokk), 17:22 (PP). 3, Chicago, Richard 8 (Keane, Lajoie), 18:17 (PP). Penalties-Grewe Gr (holding), 16:30; McIlrath Gr (cross-checking), 16:52; Richard Chi (slashing), 19:23.

2nd Period-4, Chicago, Richard 9 (Lajoie, Keane), 10:24 (PP). 5, Grand Rapids, McIlrath 1 (MacLeod, Shine), 16:27. Penalties-McIlrath Gr (cross-checking), 1:55; Shine Gr (delay of game), 6:41; McIlrath Gr (boarding), 8:43; Smith Gr (roughing, misconduct - continuing altercation), 8:43; Healey Chi (elbowing), 13:31.

3rd Period-6, Chicago, Novak 5 (Allard, Healey), 0:13. Penalties-Smith Gr (cross-checking), 1:45; Keane Chi (unsportsmanlike conduct), 6:37; Sebrango Gr (roughing), 13:23; Bibeau Chi (tripping), 14:10.

Shots on Goal-Chicago 12-9-8-29. Grand Rapids 7-9-8-24.

Power Play Opportunities-Chicago 3 / 8; Grand Rapids 0 / 4.

Goalies-Chicago, Bibeau 4-1-1 (24 shots-23 saves). Grand Rapids, Fulcher 1-1-1 (29 shots-24 saves).

A-711

Three Stars
1. CHI Richard (two power play goals); 2. CHI Novak (two goals); 3. CHI Tomasino (goal, assist)

Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 11-7-3-0 (25 pts.) / Wed., April 28 vs. Rockford 7 p.m.
Chicago: 16-5-1-2 (35 pts.) / Thurs., April 29 at Grand Rapids 6 p.m. CDT

Photo by Nicolas Carrillo/Griffins

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