Homestand Ends with 4-2 Loss to Chicago
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Chicago Wolves are still the lone team to defeat the Grand Rapids Griffins in regulation at Van Andel Arena this season, only now they've done it twice.
The Griffins, a combined 11-2-3-0 overall and 5-0-3-0 at home against every team except Chicago, fell to 1-6 overall and 1-2 at home versus the Wolves with a 4-2 loss on Thursday, on the heels of Monday's 5-1 setback.
Anthony Richard scored a breakaway goal during a Griffins power play 5:05 into the game on Chicago's first shot, the third shorthanded tally allowed by Grand Rapids this season.
The Wolves doubled their advantage 6:18 into the second, when a giveaway behind the Grand Rapids net found its way out front and onto the stick of Chicago's leading scorer, Phil Tomasino.
Grand Rapids solved Connor Ingram during a power play at 9:58, as Kyle Criscuolo chipped a shot inside the right post off a nifty passing sequence from Chase Pearson and Riley Barber. But Chicago responded less than two minutes later when David Cotton beat Pat Nagle from the right circle at 11:31, making it a 3-1 game.
As the clock ticked down toward the second intermission, Joe Hicketts notched his first goal of the campaign with just 23.6 seconds remaining, taking a cross-ice feed from Pearson and putting a one-timer past Ingram's glove from atop the right circle.
The Griffins were unable to get closer during a tightly played third period, and Max Lajoie added an empty-net goal at 19:14 for the final margin.
Grand Rapids completed its seven-game homestand with a 4-2-1-0 mark.
- The Griffins had four rookie defensemen in their lineup - Charle-Edouard D'Astous, Tory Dello, Jared McIsaac and Donovan Sebrango - for the first time in more than four years, dating to a 5-1 win at Milwaukee on April 15, 2017 when five first-year blueliners took to the ice: Hicketts, Dennis Cholowski, Filip Hronek, Patrick McCarron and Dan Renouf.
- Tonight marked the fourth attempt by the Griffins and Wolves to play AHL Game #157. Postponed from its original March 19 date due to league COVID-19 protocols affecting Chicago, it was subsequently bumped from its April 13 rescheduled date due to protocols affecting Grand Rapids, before being postponed yet again on April 15 due to protocols affecting Chicago.
Chicago 1 2 1 - 4
Grand Rapids 0 2 0 - 2
1st Period-1, Chicago, Richard 10 (Lajoie, Fitzgerald), 5:05 (SH). Penalties-Allard Chi (tripping), 3:18; Criscuolo Gr (cross-checking), 7:07.
2nd Period-2, Chicago, Tomasino 10 (Novak, Cotton), 6:18. 3, Grand Rapids, Criscuolo 8 (Pearson, Barber), 9:58 (PP). 4, Chicago, Cotton 9 (Lajoie, Novak), 11:31. 5, Grand Rapids, Hicketts 1 (Pearson, Hirose), 19:36. Penalties-Allard Chi (hooking), 8:50; Elson Gr (delay of game), 11:53; Rees Chi (tripping), 15:03.
3rd Period-6, Chicago, Lajoie 5 19:14 (EN). Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Chicago 10-9-12-31. Grand Rapids 11-14-6-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Chicago 0 / 2; Grand Rapids 1 / 3.
Goalies-Chicago, Ingram 1-2-1 (31 shots-29 saves). Grand Rapids, Nagle 5-5-0 (30 shots-27 saves).
1. CHI Richard (shorthanded goal); 2. GR Hicketts (goal); 3. CHI Lajoie (empty-net goal, two assists)
Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 12-8-3-0 (27 pts.) / Sat., May 1 at Rockford 7 p.m. EDT
Chicago: 17-5-1-2 (37 pts.) / Fri., April 30 vs. Iowa 7 p.m. CDT
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