CHICAGO – Chicago scored three unanswered goals to rally past Grand Rapids 4-3 Saturday night at Allstate Arena in the series finale between the Central Division rivals.
Ty Rattie‘s power-play goal at 9:18 of the third period capped the comeback for the Wolves (31-34-5-3). Danny Kristo netted his team-leading 22nd goal of the season while defensemen Jordan Schmaltz and Scooter Vaughan also got into the act as the Wolves rallied from a 3-1 deficit.
The Wolves scored their final two goals in the third period after Grand Rapids’ Tristan Grant and Chicago’s Emerson Clark were sent to the locker rooms after a lengthy fracas triggered by Grant’s high hit on Wolves defenseman Andre Benoit.
Grand Rapids (44-26-1-1) scored twice in the opening period to stake an early lead, starting with Tomas Nosek’s 15th goal of the season at 8:34 of the first period. Parked in the slot, Nosek one-timed a pass from Tyler Bertuzzi. The Griffins then took advantage of a power-play opportunity at 15:41 when Bertuzzi accepted a pass inside the left circle, whirled and fired a shot inside the right post.
Chicago cut into the deficit just 22 seconds into the second period on the power play as Kristo, positioned on his knees, swept a shot past goaltender Jared Coreau. Grand Rapids answered at 6:38 when Colin Campbell followed his own shot off the left post and scored on the rebound. The second period closed with Vaughan scoring from near the goal line on a loose puck that squirted to the right of Coreau.
The Wolves’ third-period comeback started at 6:09 on a wrist shot from Schmaltz inside the left circle. Rattie followed with the game-winner at 9:18 on the power play, snapping a wrister from 15 feet out.
Pheonix Copley (14-16-3) finished with 24 saves while Coreau (29-14-2) turned away 25 shots.
Chicago travels to Milwaukee on Tuesday, April 12, before closing the regular season with a home-and-home series against Iowa. The Wolves’ final home game is First Responders Night, presented by Turtle Wax, at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 16. For ticket information, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
WOLVES 4, GRIFFINS 3
Grand Rapids 2 1 0 — 3
Chicago 0 2 2 — 4
First Period—1, Grand Rapids, Norsek 15 (Bertuzzi, Sproul), 8:34; 2, Grand Rapids, Bertuzzi 12 (Zengerle, Ouellet), 15:41, pp; Penalties—Caron, Chicago (high sticking), 13:41; Lashoff, Grand Rapids (hooking), 18:35; Campbell, Grand Rapids (holding), 18:50.
Second Period—3, Chicago, Kristo 22 (Rattie, Cannone), 0:22; 4, Grand Rapids, Campbell 10 (Zengerle), 6:38; 5, Chicago, Vaughan 3 (Veilleux, Selman), 14:31. Penalties—Welsh, Chicago (high sticking), 9:14; Frk, Grand Rapids (cross check), 11:25.
Third Period—6, Chicago, Schmaltz 6 (Veilleux, Labrie), 6:09; 7, Chicago, Rattie 15 (O’Brien, Welsh), 9:18, pp. Penalties—Grant, Grand Rapids (roughing, unsportsmanlike, fighting, misconduct), 3:11; Clark, Chicago (roughing, fighting, misconduct), 3:11; Ouellet, Grand Rapids (tripping) 7:29; Caron, Chicago (high sticking), 12:02.
Shots on goal—Grand Rapids 9-9-9—27; Chicago 9-14-6—29. Power plays—Grand Rapids 1-3; Chicago 2-5. Goalies—Grand Rapids, Coreau (25-29); Chicago, Copley (24-27). Referee—Fred Leblanc and Jarrod Ragusin. Linesmen—Riley Bowles and Ian McCambridge.