ROSEMONT, Ill.—The Chicago Wolves snapped their four-game losing skid in a big way Saturday night, routing the Grand Rapids Griffins 5-1 at Allstate Arena.
Ryan Suzuki scored two goals, Josh Melnick and Malte Stromwall each had a goal and an assist and Logan Lambdin scored on a penalty shot to lift the Wolves over the Griffins in the first of 10 meetings between the Central Division rivals this season.
“It was a complete game for sure,” Wolves coach Brock Sheahan said. “It was just nice to see us play the way we’re supposed to play. When we do it all the time—which is what we’ve been talking about—we get the result.”
After a scoreless first period, Grand Rapids opening the scoring early in the second when Dominik Shine lit the lamp.
It was all Wolves after that.
The defending Calder Cup champions tied it when Melnick notched his fourth goal of the season. Teammate Alexander Pashin won a corner puck battle with two Griffins players and controlled the puck before feeding Melnick, who beat Grand Rapids goaltender Victor Brattstrom from between the rings with a shot to the glove side.
Suzuki put the Wolves out in front midway through the second when he scooped up the puck at center ice, raced into the offensive zone and rifled a wrist shot from the left circle past Brattstrom.
It marked Suzuki’s first goal of the season in his third game since returning from an extended absence due to an injury.
“It’s been a long road for sure,” Suzuki said. “Times like this makes it all worth it. I’m really proud of myself. I worked hard to get to where I am now.”
Late in the second, Lambdin was hauled down while on a breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot. The forward deked Brattstrom and slid in a backhander for his third goal of the season.
It was the 12th penalty shot goal in Wolves history and the first since Brooks Macek scored one March 8, 2019 at Milwaukee.
The Wolves kept the good times rolling when Suzuki scored his second goal of the game in the waning moments of the period. The center pounced on a rebound of a Griffin Mendel shot and fired it into the open net for a 4-1 Wolves lead.
“Just any way I can contribute and help the team win is what I’m trying to do every night,” Suzuki said.
Stromwall extended the lead to 5-1 early in the third with his fourth goal of the season. With the Wolves killing a penalty, the forward got behind the Griffins defense, broke toward the net and deposited the puck into the net off his forehand.
Cale Morris (31 saves) earned the victory in goal for the Wolves while Brattstrom (24 saves) suffered the loss for Grand Rapids.
The Wolves improved to 7-13-2-0 on the season while Grand Rapids fell to 10-14-1-0.
Up next: The Wolves will host the Milwaukee Admirals on Sunday at Allstate Arena (3 p.m.; My50 Chicago, AHLTV). It will be Family Sunday at the arena.
For information on Wolves ticket plans for the 2022-23 season — everything from single-game tickets to Flex Packs to group outings — visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.