Wolves Snap Streak with 4-2 win|
Three late unanswered goals doom Griffins...
By Jason Kasiorek
December 11th, 2013
The Griffins, winners of seven straight, were due for a loss sooner or later, and the arch-rival Chicago Wolves were more than happy to oblige. Goals by captain Jeff Hoggan and Riley Sheahan staked the Griffins to a 2-1 lead in the second. The two teams then opened up the pace and started playing pond hockey with scoring chances at both ends of the ice. The Wolves scored three unanswered goals on netminder Thomas McCollum to hand the Griffins their first loss since November 16th.
The ice looked like it was slanted toward the GR end for the period as Chicago really controlled play in the Griffins' zone. Three-on-one Griffins, Tootoo to Paetsch and then one to many passes and it's broken up. Midway through the period, Bolduc in front snapped a shot past McCollum stick-side to open the scoring. Ferraro had a nice rip from the slot with Tootoo cutting in. Shots on Goal: GR 7 - Chi 10.
Grand Rapids came out stronger to start the second. The home team really picked up momentum killing off a wolves 5-on-3 powerplay. Hoggan crossed the line, picked off a Wolves clearing attempt and wristed a shot in over Allen to tie the game at one. The pace really started picking up with both teams showcasing speed. Jurco got hooked in front on the powerplay, setting up a GR 5-on-3. On the powerplay, Sheahan one-timed a bullet from the circle over Allen's shoulder to take the lead. Allen flashed the glove, but it was already in the net. Chicago answered right back with a goal on a scrambly play in front. The goal was reviewed but allowed to stand. Shots on Goal: GR 16 - Chi 6.
Callahan with a great scoring chance, got behind the defense but ran out of room to get off a good shot. McIntyre was sent to the box, and Jaskin scored on the ensuing powerplay to put the Griffins back in the hole. Both teams are playing run and gun, end to end hockey. The speed and pace is unreal. Bolduc went behind the net for a wraparound, and Rattie was there to bang it home for a 4-2 lead. A big scrum broke out in the corner by the Wolves net with Glendening ad Tootoo in the middle. The Griffins had a late powerplay and pulled McCollum to the bench for an extra attacker. Grand Rapids had about 10 quality chances but could not get another puck past Allen. Almquist gave the puck away, but the Wolves went in on the empty net offside, so the play was called dead. Shots on Goal: GR 6 - Chi 10. For the Game: GR 29 - Chi 26.
Hoggan/Ferraro - Sheahan - Pulkkinen
Tootoo - Glendening - Ferraro/Pulkkinen
Jurco - Jarnkrok - Eaves
Grant - McIntyre - Callahan
Ouellet - Marchenko
Paetsch - Almquist
Jensen - Sproul
Eaves - Jarnkrok - Jurco
Sproul - Almquist
Hoggan - Sheahan - Ferraro
Pulkkinen - Paetsch
Ferraro - Glendening
Paetsch - Almquist
Sheahan/Jarnkrok - Ferraro/McIntyre
Evans - Paetsch
Marchenko stood out again this game, especially while his team was down by two skaters. He was great, using his stick to poke pucks away and take away lanes, and because of his vision was able to anticipate where the puck carrier was going to go, shutting down the Wolves powerplay.
Ferraro looked hungry, and battled his way through to the net several times. He also did a good job of using his speed to create scoring chances. He definitely was more noticeable.
While I can't pin the loss on the goalie (he had a lot of help), McCollum did not have his best game, and at least one of the goals he allowed was a softy. With Mrazek in Detroit, Thomas needs to bounce back on Friday.
Nathan Paetsch also did not have a great game. He looked a step behind the play, and especially in the latter stages of the game, was really laboring to keep up the pace. He also had several errant passes and just did not look like himself.