GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Evgeni Svechinkov collected a goal and an assist to help the Grand Rapids Griffins edge the Chicago Wolves 3-2 on Friday night at Van Andel Arena.
The Wolves (23-14-3-2) rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the second period as forwards Samuel Blais and Ivan Barbashev scored, but Svechnikov’s goal at 17:38 of the same frame pushed the Griffins (26-10-1-2) back into the lead for good. Former Wolves goaltender Eddie Pasquale (9-3-3) turned aside 11 shots in the final frame to secure the victory for Grand Rapids.
The Griffins’ Matthew Ford opened scoring at 12:06 of the first frame with his third marker of the season. Svechnikov put a point shot on net that Ford redirected while standing at the top of the crease and screening Chicago goaltender Ville Husso (5-4-0).
At 15:02, the Griffins doubled their lead when Tomas Nosek tallied on the power play.
The Wolves cut Grand Rapids’ lead back to a goal in the first five minutes of the second period. Blais sliced up the right wing, cut toward the net around the bottom of the same-side circle and shoveled a shot past Pasquale.
Chicago’s top power-play unit – Kenny Agostino, Andrew Agozzino, Barbashev, Vince Dunn and Wade Megan – generated quality scoring chances and tied the game, 2-2, at 9:40 of the second. Cycling on the man advantage, Agostino (the league’s leading scorer) blasted a one-time chance that Barbashev redirected for his 18th marker of the year.
However, at 17:38, Svechnikov netted the go-ahead goal that would stand at the game-winner.
Rookie netminder Husso stopped 33 of 36 shots he faced in the loss.
The Wolves continue action at Allstate Arena on Saturday (Jan. 21) and Sunday (Jan. 22) in a pair of Amtrak Rivalry games against the Milwaukee Admirals. Saturday’s game is slated for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live on CW50. Sunday’s contest is set for 3 p.m. and will air on The U Too. For ticket information or complete 2016-17 game and broadcast schedules, visit ChicagoWolves.com.