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Griffins Can't Hold Off Wolves, Lose 5-3
Helm Penalty Shot Not Enough to Win...
By Jason Kasiorek

This game featured a little bit of everything for the 9800+ crowd in Grand Rapids. Powerplay goals, a shorthanded goal, a penalty shot goal an empty netter and even a fight. Unfortunately it did not include another win for the Griffins who could not hold off the Wolves late rally and ended up falling 5-3. Grand Rapids got goals from Hartigan (20), Cullen (10) and Helm (5) on a penalty shot.

A pretty even first period, aside from a rough start for new blueliner Darrell Hay who coughed up the puck on his first shift and then fell down. Chicago drew first blood just past the 13:30 mark, Haydar stroked a shot from the top of the circle that found its way through traffic and behind Howard for a powerplay goal. Keefe dropped the gloves with Oystrick, and both players ended up with their sweaters pulled over their heads. The two combatants were landing punches until the linesman separated them. Hartigan knotted the score at one a few minutes later when he fired a wrister from the circle that bulged the twine behind Pavelec before he even reacted. Later in the period Tardif took exception to a late hit behind the net, setting off a heated scrum. Shots on Goal: GR 9 - Chi 10.

Grand Rapids was unable to capitalize on three straight penalties to Chicago, and soon found themselves with two skaters in the box. Former Griffin Joel Kwiatkowski scored just as Evan McGrath came out of the box to make it a 5-on-4 powerplay, rifling a shot from the circle past Howard, high, glove-side. Five minutes later, Cullen tied things up on the powerplay when his point shot caught Pavelec cheating off the post. Darren Helm was hooked down on a breakaway and awarded a penalty shot which he capitalized on, freezing Pavelec and tucking the puck in beside him for a 3-2 lead. The lead was short lived however as Kevin Doell took advantage of a turnover to streak in and poke the puck through Howard five-hole for a shorthanded goal to tie things up. Shots on Goal: GR 15 - Chi 7.

Krog provided all the firepower the Wolves needed to fuel their rally, scoring just over a minute into the third, and then potting an empty netter with 1:08 on the clock to put the nail in the coffin. Shots on Goal: GR 8 - Chi 20. For the Game: GR 24 - Peo 25.

Helm - Cullen - Tardif
Corazzini - Hartigan - Ritola/Clark/Gelech
Oulahen/Ritola/Helm - McGrath - Keefe

Insana - Ericsson
Quincey - #8 Hay
Kindl - Galvin

Starter: Howard
Backup: Berkhoel

Ference - wrist
Stafford - injury

Corazzini - Hartigan/Cullen - Tardif
Quincey/Hartigan - Hay

Oulahen - Cullen/McGrath - Gelech
Kindl - Ericsson

Oulahen - Tardif
Insana - Ericsson

Helm - Hartigan
Kindl - Galvin

Corazzini - Cullen


Darrell Hay had a rough first game. He had a couple of shots on goal but was brutal with the puck when he tried to do anything other than shoot it.

Mark Hartigan had a good game, especially on the PK in the third. He did a fantastic job of ragging the puck and killing off the clock, and caused the wolves fits, backing them into their own zone.

Keefe was very noticeable, and not for bad reasons. Besides providing energy, he used his head late in the game, drawing a penalty, and did not retaliate, giving the Griffins a powerplay.

Good move by Helm on his penalty shot, the goal really energized the crowd.

Official Game Sheet