Matt Lorito netted three goals as the Grand Rapids Griffins capsized the Chicago Wolves 5-3 on Friday at Van Andel Arena.
The Wolves scored twice on the power play — including one on a 5-on-3 advantage — and goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo (1-2-0) made 36 saves in the loss. Forwards Ivan Barbashev, Teemu Pulkkinen and Brett Sterling tallied for Chicago (2-4-1-0).
Grand Rapids (3-4-0-1) opened scoring just 53 seconds into the game when Lorito nabbed the puck out of a player pile near the left wall in the Wolves zone and skated low into the same-side circle for a chance that found its way behind Kaskisuo.
Five seconds shy of the 10-minute mark — with Griffins defenseman Filip Hronek serving a cross-checking infraction — Barbashev netted his second goal in as many games to tie the game 1-1. The play began in the Chicago zone when defenseman Jake Walman sprung forward Tomas Hyka up the right wing. Hyka zipped into the zone and wired a pass to Barbashev in the slot.
The Griffins again took the lead just 2:24 later when Lorito took advantage of a cluster in the Wolves zone and lasered the puck past Kaskisuo for the 2-1 lead.
The second period was scoreless until 10:48 when Sterling posted his first tally of the season. Set up by Barbashev and Walman, Sterling streaked into the offensive zone on the left wing and sniped a wristshot from inside the left circle for the game-tying goal.
Chicago again took advantage of Grand Rapids in the penalty box. During a 5-on-3 opportunity, Pulkkinen rifled a slapshot from left circle for a 3-2 lead at 13:03 of the second.
Immediately following a successful 5-on-3 penalty kill for Chicago early in the third period, Grand Rapids’ Matt Puempel slipped a pass across the slot to Evgeny Svechnikov for an easy tap-in goal to again even the game.
With forward Keegan Kolesar serving a boarding penalty, Lorito completed his hat trick as he grabbed a loose puck from a net-front scramble and popped it behind Kaskisuo for the 4-3 go-ahead goal at 6:07.
Chicago pulled Kaskisuo with just over two minutes to go in an effort to tie the game. However, Dylan Turgeon collected the empty-net insurance marker for the 5-3 final score.
Griffins goaltender Jared Coreau (3-1-0) made 32 saves in the victory.
The Wolves return to the ice Saturday, Oct. 28, when the Milwaukee Admirals visit Allstate Arena for the first time this season. Game time for Super Hero Night is 7 p.m and the contest will be broadcast on CW50. The first 1,500 kids inside the building will receive a Marvel Universe Live super hero giveaway.