The Chicago Wolves exploded for three goals in the second period to top the Grand Rapids Griffins 3-2 in Game 2 of the Central Division Semifinals on Saturday night at Allstate Arena.
“We were physical. We were competing,” said Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson. “The little things we talked about (after Game 1), we definitely did tonight. That’s the difference in the game. That’s playoffs.”
Colin Campbell and Chris Terry scored for Grand Rapids (1-1) while netminder Harri Sateri (1-1) recorded 24 saves.
After a scoreless first period, Hyka broke through at the 7:38 mark of the second to give the Wolves the lead. Forward Tye McGinn handled the puck along the right boards and dished a backhand pass toward the high slot for Hyka, who one-timed the puck under Sateri’s pads.
Campbell tied the game at 8:18 — scoring on a 2-on-1 rush — but the Wolves responded with a pair of goals to go into the second intermission with a 3-1 lead.
Whitecloud struck at 12:58 on the power play, regaining the lead and momentum with a rocket from the right point that beat Sateri’s glove. After a shot from center Cody Glass was saved, forward Curtis McKenzie corralled the rebound in the corner before he set up Whitecloud.
Just 44 seconds later, Kolesar tallied his second career playoff goal during 4-on-4 action to make it a 3-1 game. Defenseman Zac Leslie’s shot from the top of the circles was stopped, but Kolesar roofed the loose puck over Sateri at 13:42.
Terry brought the Griffins back within 3-2 with his goal 15:30 into the third period, but the Wolves held off the rally to knot the series.
The series shifts to Grand Rapids for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Wednesday. If necessary, the Wolves host Game 5 at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 28.