ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Chicago Wolves dropped their home opener 4-2 to the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday night at Allstate Arena.
Rookie defenseman Vince Dunn scored his first professional goal and added an assist for the Wolves (0-2-0-0) in his first game. Goaltender Ville Husso (0-1-0) turned aside 24 shots in his North American professional debut.
“I thought it was a pretty solid effort,” said Wolves head coach Craig Berube. “We just had a little bad luck. We’ve got to bury more pucks. We had opportunities.”
The Wolves opened the first period with jump, generating a couple quality scoring chances, including a Brett Sterling point-blank shot from the center slot off a Grand Rapids turnover in the first minute. However, in the latter part of the frame, some Wolves penalty trouble turned things Grand Rapids’ way.
Griffins forward Anthony Mantha took advantage of a Wolves turnover and zipped up ice for a breakaway goal at 14:32 of the first. In the last 15 seconds of the stanza, Grand Rapids (2-0-0-0) scored during a 4-on-3 man advantage when Robby Russo rifled a shot from the left point past Husso.
In the second period, Chicago again controlled play to start the frame, but the Griffins scored first to go up 3-0. At 11:24 Dunn potted his first professional goal with a shot from the left point to put the Wolves on the board. With just over three minutes left, and Chicago with the man advantage, Ivan Barbashev tipped a Brad Hunt shot between Jared Coreau’s pads to pull the Wolves within a goal to end the period.
In the final frame, Husso made a few key saves early to keep it a 3-2 game. The teams traded chances until Grand Rapids’ Evgeny Svechnikov, rushing up the wing, slipped the puck past Husso on the near side with 4:09 to play. Looking for a pair of markers to tie the game, the Wolves pulled Husso in the last minute of the third but did not convert for the 4-2 final score.
The Wolves return to Allstate Arena on Wednesday to face the Milwaukee Admirals in the first of 12 Amtrak Rivalry games this season.
For a complete Wolves 2016-17 schedule, game broadcast or ticket information, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.