Wolves Complete Weekend Sweep
ROSEMONT, ILLINOIS - Stefan Noesen scored one goal and set up two others to pace the Chicago Wolves to a 3-1 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins Sunday afternoon at Allstate Arena.
Forwards Andrew Poturalski and Josh Leivo also scored and goaltender Eetu Makiniemi stopped 18 shots for the Wolves (11-4-1-1), who won their third game in as many days to stay ahead of the Iowa Wild for first place in the American Hockey League's Central Division.
Chicago, which owned a 44-19 shot advantage, improved to 5-0 against Grand Rapids this season.
"I thought we won different ways this weekend," said Wolves head coach Ryan Warsofsky. "Obviously the big comeback (from a 3-0 third-period deficit) Friday and the comeback last night. Tonight, we managed the game a lot better. That's how we need to play - with a lead in the third period."
The Wolves jumped into the lead at 5:41 of the first when the Griffins turned over the puck while trying to bank a pass off the boards behind the net. The puck skittered from Noesen to C.J. Smith at the left faceoff dot and he rifled a quick shot to the top of the crease, where Poturalski was waiting to deflect it past goaltender Calvin Pickard.
Chicago pumped its lead to 2-0 at 3:27 of the second as Leivo capitalized on the team's first power play of the day. Defenseman Max Lajoie snapped a shot from the point into traffic just outside the crease. Noesen won control and flicked a pass to the doorstep for Leivo, who rammed it past Pickard.
Noesen earned his third point of the night when he finished off an odd-man rush at 15:21 of the second. After Makiniemi stoned a point-blank shot by Kyle Criscuolo, Smith launched a 3-on-2 rush down the left wing. He fed Jesper Sellgren working down the right wing, then Sellgren led Noesen with a perfect pass just above the crease that Noesen redirected home for a 3-0 lead.
The Griffins (7-7-2-1) ended Makiniemi's bid for his second shutout of the season when defenseman Ryan Murphy scored at 11:33 of the third while Grand Rapids enjoyed a 5-on-3 power play.
Makiniemi improved his record to 7-2-1 this season while Pickard (7-4-2) posted 41 saves in the loss.
The Wolves host the Iowa Wild at 7 p.m. Thursday on Craft Beer Night. To find terrific Cyber Monday specials on Wolves tickets and merchandise, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
WOLVES 3, GRIFFINS 1
Grand Rapids 0 0 1 -- 1
Chicago 1 2 0 -- 3
First Period-1, Chicago, Poturalski 9 (Smith, Noesen), 5:41.
Penalties-Chicago (too many men, served by Lodnia), 0:44.
Second Period-2, Chicago, Leivo 2 (Noesen, Lajoie), 3:27 pp; 3, Chicago, Noesen 5 (Sellgren, Smith), 15:21.
Penalties-Barber, Grand Rapids (tripping), 3:16; Barber, Grand Rapids (tripping), 9:34; Criscuolo, Grand Rapids (kneeing), 15:58; Gust, Chicago (tripping), 18:14.
Third Period-4, Grand Rapids, Murphy 3 (Hirose, Criscuolo), 11:33 pp.
Penalties-Barber, Grand Rapids (tripping), 0:34; Berry, Grand Rapids (slashing), 5:31; Keane, Chicago (interference), 10:21; Lajoie, Chicago (tripping), 10:28; Serikov, Chicago (holding), 12:53.
Shots on goal-Grand Rapids 9-6-4-19; Chicago 15-18-11-44. Power plays-Grand Rapids 1-5; Chicago 1-5. Goalies-Grand Rapids, Pickard (41-44); Chicago, Makiniemi (18-19). Referees-Ian McCambridge and Tatu Kunto. Linesmen-Jameson Gronert and Tyler Gregory.
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