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 Grand Rapids Griffins

Marco Kasper Picks up 50th Pro Assist in 4-2 Loss to Chicago

March 29, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Grand Rapids Griffins News Release

ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Four-straight tallies by the Chicago Wolves extinguished an early two-goal outburst by the Grand Rapids Griffins, as they fell 4-2 at Allstate Arena on Friday.

Matt Luff stretched his point streak (4-5--9) to seven contests with a goal, which gave the veteran 13 points (6-7--13) in his last 12 contests. Marco Kasper's assist pushed his point streak (1-3--4) to three outings while it also marked his 50th helper as a pro. Riley Sawchuk picked up his first tally of the season for the Griffins.

Tyler Spezia was injured during the first period of tonight's game in Chicago and taken to a local hospital. He is awake, alert and doing well while awaiting more tests and undergoing precautionary measures.

In eight seconds, the Griffins found the back of the net twice. First, Sawchuk received an outlet pass, skated into the zone on a breakaway and sniped the puck past Keith Kinkaid from the high slot at 4:11. Grand Rapid's second tally came when Luff directed a left-circle laser into an open net with 15:41 remaining in the opening frame. The Griffins' two goals were the fastest consecutive tallies of the campaign.

The Wolves cut Grand Rapids' lead in half with a power-play tally, as Maxime Comtois popped a rebound over Michael Hutchinson while in the crease at 11:13. With another man-advantage opportunity for Chicago, Rocco Grimaldi ripped a shot through Hutchinson's five-hole from the right circle for an equalizer with 6:50 remaining in the stanza.

Following a scoreless middle frame, Grimaldi netted his second consecutive goal to put the Wolves in front when he finished off a breakaway attempt from the doorstep for a 3-2 game just 42 seconds into the final period. With the Griffins on a powerplay and their net empty with 2:18 remaining, Josh Melnick launched the puck down the ice from Chicago's zone for a shorthanded empty-net tally at 18:40. Down 4-2, Grand Rapids pulled its goaltender again but failed to convert and ultimately fell to the Wolves.


- Taro Hirose skated in his 300th game as a pro.

- Dominik Shine's point streak (2-6--8) was halted at six games.

Box Score

Grand Rapids 2 0 0 - 2

Chicago 2 0 2 - 4

1st Period-1, Grand Rapids, Sawchuk 1 (Wallinder), 4:11. 2, Grand Rapids, Luff 6 (Viro, Kasper), 4:19. 3, Chicago, Comtois 17 (Terry, Grimaldi), 11:13 (PP). 4, Chicago, Grimaldi 32 (Fensore, Comtois), 13:10 (PP). Penalties-Luff Gr (hooking), 5:27; Sawchuk Gr (high-sticking), 10:36; served by Luff Gr (too many men - bench minor), 13:00; Elynuik Chi (slashing), 16:16.

2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Seeley Chi (hooking), 8:14; Johansson Gr (high-sticking), 15:09.

3rd Period-5, Chicago, Grimaldi 33 0:42. 6, Chicago, Melnick 6 18:40 (SH EN). Penalties-Wallinder Gr (hooking), 3:36; Ratcliffe Chi (double minor - high-sticking), 13:13; Donovan Chi (interference), 17:42.

Shots on Goal-Grand Rapids 4-5-7-16. Chicago 15-5-6-26.

Power Play Opportunities-Grand Rapids 0 / 5; Chicago 2 / 5.

Goalies-Grand Rapids, Hutchinson 14-12-3 (25 shots-22 saves). Chicago, Kinkaid 8-12-1 (16 shots-14 saves).


Three Stars

1. CHI Grimaldi (two goals, assist); 2. CHI Comtois (goal, assist); 3. CHI Domenick Fensore (assist)

Record / Next Game

Grand Rapids: 32-19-7-4 (75 pts.) / Sat., March 30 at Milwaukee 7 p.m. EDT

Chicago: 22-31-4-5 (53 pts.) / Sat., March 30 vs. Rockford 7 p.m. CDT

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