Grand Rapids Griffins blunt Chicago Wolves Hockey 7-0 win streak
Pitlick scores AHL-best seventh goal in Chicago’s first loss of season
Forward Riley Barber scored a pair of goals and Kevin Boyle posted 22 saves as the Grand Rapids Griffins earned a 4-1 win over the Chicago Wolves on Friday night at Van Andel Arena.
Center Rem Pitlick produced his American Hockey League-leading seventh goal for the Wolves (7-1-0-0), who became the final AHL team to suffer a loss this season. The Griffins (4-2-0-0) won their fourth in a row since dropping two to Chicago.
Grand Rapids took an early lead when Barber slid the puck past Antoine Bibeau 3:59 into the game. Barber’s score marked the first time in more than five full games — 338 minutes and 48 seconds, to be exact — since the Wolves last trailed.
Chicago went into the locker room facing a deficit for the first time all season — then Grand Rapids quickly dug the hole deeper in the second period. Dominik Shine whacked a rebound out of mid-air for a goal 48 seconds into the period, then Barber made it 3-0 at 2:02 of the second.
Pitlick triggered a rally by swatting home a rebound 42 seconds into the third to cut the margin to 3-1. Defenseman Frederic Allard scalded a shot from the point that Boyle rejected, but Pitlick claimed the rebound in the slot and knocked it home.
The Wolves developed several more chances during the third period, but the Griffins held strong until Givani Smith added an insurance goal with 1:53 to play.
Bibeau (1-1-0), seeing his first action since Opening Night on Feb. 5, finished with 31 saves.
The Wolves have an immediate chance to get even as they host the Griffins 3 p.m. Sunday at the Chicago Wolves Training Facility in Hoffman Estates.
While the state of Illinois’ safety protocols don’t allow fans to attend home games this season, fans can be a part of the action with a personalized cutout in the Chicago Wolves Fan Gallery, presented by Hefty. To purchase yours, visit ChicagoWolvesStore.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
GRIFFINS 4, WOLVES 1
Chicago 0 0 1 — 1
Grand Rapids 1 2 1 — 4
First Period—1, Grand Rapids, Barber 3 (Rasmussen, Hirose), 3:59.
Penalties—Barber, Grand Rapids (hooking), 1:01; Mattheos, Chicago (slashing), 9:01; Lindstrom, Grand Rapids (tripping), 12:27.
Second Period—2, Grand Rapids, Shine 1 (Elson, Turgeon), 0:44; 3, Grand Rapids, Barber 4 (Hirose, Cholowski), 2:02.
Penalties—Smith, Grand Rapids (hooking), 6:51; McIlrath, Grand Rapids (boarding), 8:36; Rees, Chicago (slashing), 10:02; Shine, Grand Rapids (slashing), 13:18.
Third Period—4, Chicago, Pitlick 7 (Richard, Allard), 0:48; 5, Grand Rapids, Smith 1 (), 18:07.
Penalties—Warsofsky, Chicago (slashing), 4:17; Davies, Chicago (holding), 16:02.
Shots on goal—Chicago 7-8-8—23; Grand Rapids 9-14-12—35. Power plays—Chicago 0-5; Grand Rapids 0-4. Goalies—Chicago, Bibeau (31-35); Grand Rapids, Boyle (22-23). Referees—Shaun Davis and Jonathon Sitarski. Linesmen—Justin Cornell and Logan Wetekamp.