GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. --- The Chicago Wolves found their offense stalled as they fell to the Midwest Division-leading Grand Rapids Griffins 3-1 Friday night at Van Andel Arena.
Defenseman David Shields tallied shorthanded in the third period, the only goal of the game for the Wolves (17-13-1-2). Goaltender Matt Climie (3-7-0) kicked out 26 of 28 shots in the loss.
Both teams exchanged chances in a back-and-forth first period, but the Griffins (23-8-1-2) broke through first with a goal at 18:43. A pad save by Climie caused the puck to deflect out to right wing Andrej Nestrasil, who fed it to the slot for center Calle Jarnkrok’s rifled shot into the top corner of the net.
Following a scoreless second period, the Wolves struck shorthanded to tie the score 3:29 into the final frame. Pressuring in the Griffins zone after a dump-in, left wing Sergey Andronov muscled the puck away from a defender. Andronov sent a pass in front of the net to the stick of Shields, who backhanded the puck over Griffins goaltender Tom McCollum’s glove.
Just one minute later, Grand Rapids regained its one-goal lead with a power-play marker. Climie went behind his net to play the puck and his pass was intercepted. Right wing Tomas Jurco picked up the puck and wrapped around the front of the cage, backhanding it over Climie’s blocker for the 2-1 lead.
Right wing Teemu Pulkkinen sealed the Griffins victory with an empty-net goal with 1:30 remaining in the game.
McCollum (13-6-1) made 27 saves on the night.
The Wolves return home for a 7 p.m. Saturday game against Iowa and a 3 p.m. Illinois Lottery Cup contest on Sunday against Rockford at Allstate Arena. The Wolves will wear commemorative First Responders jerseys for both games. For tickets, call 1-800-THE-WOLVES or visitChicagoWolves.com.
GRIFFINS 3, WOLVES 1
Chicago 0 0 1 -- 1
Grand Rapids 1 0 2 -- 3
First Period---1, Grand Rapids, Jarnkrok 10 (Nestrasil, Sproul), 18:43. Penalties---Almquist, Grand Rapids (hooking), 4:39; Longpre, Chicago (hooking), 16:41.
Second Period---None. Penalties---Hoggan, Grand Rapids (interference), 3:46; Sproul, Grand Rapids (delay of game), 7:08; Aucoin, Chicago (slashing), 17:46.
Third Period---2, Chicago, Shields 5 (Andronov), 3:29 sh; 3, Grand Rapids, Jurco 12 (Sheahan), 4:46 pp; 4, Grand Rapids, Pulkkinen 12 (Ouellet), 18:30 en. Penalties---Beach, Chicago (holding), 3:15; Beach, Chicago (roughing), 9:08; Callahan, Grand Rapids (roughing), 9:08; Callahan, Grand Rapids (roughing), 9:08; Grant, Grand Rapids (interference), 12:13; Edmundson, Chicago (fighting), 18:05; Tootoo, Grand Rapids (fighting), 18:05.
Shots on goal---Chicago: 8-12-8—28; Grand Rapids: 14-6-9—29. Power plays---Chicago 0-5; Grand Rapids 1-3. Goalies—Chicago, Climie (26-28), Grand Rapids, McCollum (27-28). A---6,963. Referee---Nic Leduc. Linesmen---Bob Marcis and Jim Scarpace.