GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Chicago couldn’t sustain a two-goal lead in falling to Grand Rapids, 4-3, at Van Andel Arena on Sunday afternoon. Andy Miele scored with 35 seconds left in overtime after the Wolves spent most of the extra period killing a double minor penalty.
The Wolves received all three goals from its defense as Andre Benoit, Jérémie Blain and Jared Nightingale found the back of the net. In fact, five of the six Chicago defenseman that played in the game earned a point. Danny Kristo chipped in with a pair of assists.
Grand Rapids (33-20-1-1), winners of five straight, opened scoring at 12:26 of the first period when Mark Zengerle skated along the right boards and zipped a pass across the ice that a streaking Mitch Callahan redirected with a backhanded shot.
Chicago (25-25-4-2) responded with back-to-back power play tallies in the period. Blain ripped a slapshot that deflected off the skate of a Griffin player past goaltender Jared Coreau at 15:01. Kristo then setup up Andre Benoit with a back-door pass as Benoit snapped a wrist shot inside the far post.
Chicago went up 3-1 in the second period on Nightingale’s slapshot at the 7:08 mark – the first goal in a Wolves uniform for the veteran AHL blueliner.
Grand Rapids rallied with a pair of goals in the third period to force overtime. Tomas Nosek buried a loose rebound in the crease just 1:25 into the period while Robbie Russo provided the equalizer with 2:42 left in regulation on a slap shot through traffic that beat goaltender Jordan Binnington, who was screened on the play.
Binnington (12-12-4), starting his third game in as many days, tied a season-high mark with 39 saves (including six in the OT) while Coreau (26-10-2) finished with 18 stops.
The Wolves return to action next Saturday (March 5), traveling to Milwaukee for an Amtrak Rivalry game. To find the best deals on group tickets, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
GRIFFINS 4, WOLVES 3 (OT)
Chicago 2 1 0 0 – 3
Grand Rapids 1 0 2 1 – 4
First Period—1, Grand Rapids, Callahan 16 (Zengerle, Jensen), 12:26; 2, Chicago, Blain 2 (Schmaltz, Kristo), 15:01, pp; 3, Chicago, Benoit 6 (Kristo, Harrold), 19:41, pp. Penalties—Nightingale, Chicago (tripping), 6:09; Frk, Grand Rapids (holding the stick), 13:18; Ouellet, Grand Rapids (interferences), 19:02.
Second Period—4, Chicago, Nightingale 1 (Barbashev, Crandall), 7:08. Penalties—Caron, Chicago (hooking), 1:14; Trupp, Chicago (hooking), 4:10; Campbell, Grand Rapids (holding), 10:39.
Third Period—5, Grand Rapids, Nosek 10 (Sproul), 1:25; 6, Grand Rapids, Russo 10 (Bertuzzi, Tangradi), Penalties—Kristo, Chicago (kneeing), 4:53; Tangradi, Grand Rapids (slashing), 6:06; Kristo, Chicago (boarding), 18:21.
Overtime—7, Grand Rapids, Miele 12 (Mantha, Russo), 4:25, pp. Penalties—Welsh, Chicago (high sticking, high sticking).
Shots on goal—Chicago 7-10-4-0—21; Grand Rapids 8-14-14-7—43. Power plays—Chicago 2-4; Grand Rapids 1-6. Goalies—Chicago, Binnington (39-43); Grand Rapids, Coreau (18-21). Referees—Alex Garon and Ryan Murphy. Linesmen—Justin Cornell and Jim Scarpace.