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GRIFFINS CONTINUE TEAR, TAME CHICAGO

12/04/2015 8:46 PM -

Chicago Wolves 1 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 3

Dec. 4, 2015

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.
– The Grand Rapids Griffins continued their torrid run on Friday, beating the Chicago Wolves 3-1 at Van Andel Arena to notch their seventh consecutive victory and nudge their record above 0.500 for the first time this season.

Jared Coreau made 31 saves to backstop the Griffins to their sixth straight triumph on home ice, while Mark Zengerle sparked Grand Rapids’ rally from a 1-0 deficit with a goal that pushed his point streak to a team-high five games.

The Griffins’ seven straight wins tie for the sixth-longest streak in franchise history and represent their longest run since a nine-game tear from Feb. 14-March 4, 2015. They’ll take aim at number eight on Saturday when they host the Lake Erie Monsters at 7 p.m.

The Griffins (9-8-0-1) dominated the early going by carrying the play in the Chicago zone and generating several scoring chances, but it was the Wolves who struck first at the 12:42 mark. Andre Benoit fired a one-timer from the left point, and Jordan Caron flashed across the top of Coreau’s crease to tally the deflection off his stick blade.

Grand Rapids evened the score with its own redirection 3:11 into the second period. Just three seconds after the Griffins’ power play had controlled the puck in Chicago’s end for an entire two minutes, Xavier Ouellet sent a wrister from the point that Zengerle tipped in the slot for a bouncer past Pheonix Copley.

The Griffins tacked on two more goals late in the period to stake themselves to a 3-1 lead through 40 minutes of play. Tomas Nosek snapped home a shot from the top of the right circle at 15:21 for his first goal of the season, before Andreas Athanasiou scored a highlight-reel goal with 55 seconds remaining. Off a turnover in the neutral zone, Athanasiou sped down the left side, turnstiled a defender in the circle then chipped a backhand into the far corner of the net.

It was up to Coreau and his defense to protect the lead, and he logged 12 shots in the third period – and 25 over the final two frames – to extend his personal winning streak to four games. Copley totaled 30 saves for the Wolves (10-7-1-1), who are now 2-6-1-0 since their 8-1-0-1 start.

Note: After the game, the Griffins assigned defenseman Derek Docken to the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye, while the Detroit Red Wings reassigned defenseman Richard Nedomlel to the Griffins from the Walleye.

Three Stars: 1. GR Nosek (game-winning goal); 2. GR Athanasiou (goal); 3. GR Coreau (W, 31 saves)

 


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