ROSEMONT, Ill.---The Chicago Wolves and Grand Rapids Griffins combined for 18 goals in a wild offensive explosion at the Allstate Arena, but the Griffins managed to eek out the victory with an eventual 10-8 win before 7,535 fans Saturday night.
The two clubs erupted for a combined 10 goals in the second period, which is a Wolves franchise record, while the Griffins’ 10 goals against were the most ever scored by a Wolves opponent at the Allstate Arena. Chicago (10-12-1-0) bagged five power-play goals, which is a season high, while 13 different players collected multiple points on the night, including six Wolves skaters.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever been a part of something like that before,” said Wolves Head Coach Don Lever. “Our power play was good, our penalty killing was good and our five-on-five was horrendous. We have to learn that we can score goals, but you can’t win anything if you don’t keep the puck out of your own net.”
The Wolves jumped out to a 1-0 lead, seven minutes into the game with a shorthanded goal by center Ryan Garbutt. The forward stole the puck at the blueline and broke down into the Griffins zone and fired a shot, which Griffins goaltender Jordan Pearce deflected but bounced back against the goal post, where Garbutt was able to move in and knock it over the line.
Chicago padded its lead, 2-0, with a goal from right wing Darren Haydar at 16:58 of the first period. Center Jason Krog sent a pass from the middle of the left face-off circle to Haydar at the left corner of the goal, and Haydar deflected it up under the cross bar.
Grand Rapids (9-8-0-4) answered just under two minutes later with a marker from left wing Tomas Tater to make the score 2-1. He and right wing Jan Mursak broke out on a two-on-one and Tatar flung a shot past Wolves goaltender Edward Pasquale from the left face-off circle.
Center Andre Deveaux made the Wolves lead 3-1, 29 seconds into the second period with his team-leading fifth power-play goal of the season. The center took a pass from Haydar and popped it past Pearce from the slot.
Right wing Jamie Tardiff answered for the Griffins with a pair of goals in a span of 62 seconds to knot the score, 3-3. First, he one-timed a shot down the slot and past Pasquale at 1:41 of the middle frame. Then, he deflected a shot by defenseman Travis Ehrhardt past Pasquale, stick side, at 2:43 of the second period.
Chicago used a power-play opportunity to regain the lead, 4-3, at 4:58 of the second stanza. Haydar bagged his second of the night to put Chicago back on top when he knocked home the rebound from left wing Fredrik Pettersson’s shot from the point.
Grand Rapids tied things up again, 4-4, 68 seconds later when a loose puck in the crease banked off Mursak’s skates and into the net past a diving Pasquale.
The Griffins took the lead for the first time, 5-4, 9:19 into the second period when center Cory Emmerton’s shot from the blueline sailed through traffic in front of the net and skipped past Pasquale, sending him to the bench in favor of backup Peter Mannino.
Just 17 seconds after Mannino got into the game, Tardiff wrapped around the net and slipped a pass out front for right wing Jordan Owens, who lifted it into the net to give the Griffins a 6-4 lead at the 9:36 mark of the second frame.
Grand Rapids added their sixth of the period at the 12:52 mark when defenseman Brendan Smith cranked a shot from the blueline past a screened Mannino, and Tatar followed it up with his second of the game 26 seconds later when he banked a shot in from the right corner of the net at 13:18, prompting Pasquale to come back into the game to replace Mannino. Mannino made four saves on seven shots in 3:59 of action.
Chicago converted on a power play to pull to 8-5 when left wing Michael Davies crouched down and knocked a shot up and into the net past Pearce at 18:14 of the second period.
The two teams combined for another three goals in a span of 49 seconds in the third period.
The Wolves pulled within one, 8-7, with a power-play goal from Pettersson, who ripped a shot from high in the slot at the six-minute mark, followed by a marker from left wing Nigel Dawes, who angled a shot from the right circle past Pearce, 24 seconds later. The Griffins regained a two-goal lead, 9-7, at 6:49, when Mursak deposited a shot past Pasquale for his second of the game.
Chicago pulled to within one goal, 9-8, when center Jared Ross scooped up a rebound and slipped a backhanded shot past Pearce at 11:22 of the third period, but right wing Chris Minard potted an empty net goal for Grand Rapids with 36 seconds left in the game to round out the scoring extravaganza.
Pasquale (5-6-0) posted 18 saves in taking the loss for Chicago, while Pearce (2-1-1) turned aside 34 shots for Grand Rapids.
The Wolves will host the Manitoba Moose at the Allstate Arena on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Grand Rapids 1 7 2 -- 10
Chicago 2 3 3 -- 8
First Period---1, Chicago, Garbutt 2 (unassisted) 7:00 sh; 2, Chicago, Haydar 10 (Krog, Davies), 16:58; 3, Grand Rapids, Tatar 3 (Mursak, Janik), 18:40. Penalties---Siklenka, Chicago (tripping), 5:24; Owens, Grand Rapids (roughing), 9:30; Kozek, Chicago (double-minor high-sticking), 12:19.
Second Period---4, Chicago, Deveaux 9 (Haydar, Pettersson), 0:29; 5, Grand Rapids, Tardif 5 (Owens, Coetzee), 1:41; 6, Grand Rapids, Tardiff 6 (Ehrhardt, Owens), 2:43; 7, Chicago, Haydar 11 (Pettersson, Postma), 4:58 pp; 8, Grand Rapids, Mursak 8 (Emmerton, Tatar), 6:06; 9, Grand Rapids, Emmerton 5 (Janik, Tatar), 9:19; 10, Grand Rapids, Owens 2 (Tardiff, Coetzee), 9:36; 11, Grand Rapids, Smith 6 (Tatar, Pare), 12:52; 12, Grand Rapids, Tatar 4 (Mursak, Coetzee), 13:18; 13, Chicago, Davies 2 (Postma, Krog), 18:14 pp. Penalties---Andersson, Grand Rapids (holding), 0:15; Smith, Grand Rapids (tripping), 4:21; Sifers, Chicago (hooking), 10:47; Siklenka, Chicago (hooking), 15:56; Ehrhardt, Grand Rapids (holding), 16:44.
Third Period---14, Chicago, Pettersson 4 (Krog, Haydar), 6:00 pp; 15, Chicago, Dawes 6 (Machacek, Ross), 6:24; 16, Grand Rapids, Mursak 9 (Tatar), 6:49; 17, Chicago, Ross 6 (Kulda, Siklenka), 11:22 pp; 18, Grand Rapids, Minard 2 (Tatar), 19:24 en. Penalties---Coetzee, Grand Rapids (tripping), 5:22; Emmerton, (hooking), 9:32; Smith, Grand Rapids (delay of game), 13:51; Ross, Chicago (slashing), 15:30.
Shots on goal---Grand Rapids: 5-20-7--32. Chicago: 16-11-15--42. Power plays---Grand Rapids: 0-6. Chicago: 5-7. Goalies---Grand Rapids, Pearce (34-42). Chicago, Pasquale (18-24) in 55:09, Mannino (4-7) in 3:59. A---7,535. Referee---Keith Kaval. Linesmen---Al Stensland and Peter Cichy.