Rosemont, Ill.---The Chicago Wolves claimed a brief second-period lead before Grand Rapids rallied for a 3-2 victory Saturday night at Allstate Arena.
Center Corey Locke posted one goal and one assist for the Wolves (3-4-0-1). Defenseman Brent Regner delivered the power-play goal at 12:40 of the second that nudged the Wolves into the lead.
“We played well enough to win,” said Wolves head coach John Anderson. “Their goalie stopped a couple breakaways in the third and the only mistake we made ended up in the back of our net.”
Grand Rapids (3-2-1-1), the reigning Calder Cup champions, opened the scoring at 8:59 of the first period as right wing Teemu Pulkkinen took a pass from Cory Emmerton in the slot and roofed a shot off the crossbar and just across the goal line.
The Wolves pulled even at 17:53 when Shane Harper’s pass sent Locke on a breakaway down the middle of the ice. Locke skated to goaltender Tom McCollum’s left and lifted a backhander over his glove for his third goal of the season. David Shields also earned an assist on the play.
The Wolves took a 2-1 lead when Regner drilled a slap shot from the right point through traffic and past McCollum at 12:40 of the second period. Locke and Michael Davies picked up assists on the power-play tally.
The Griffins needed just 10 seconds to erase the deficit as center Calle Jarnkrok claimed a bouncing puck in the left circle and lifted a shot over goaltender Matt Climie’s left shoulder.
Grand Rapids made the Wolves pay for a too many men penalty to seize a 3-2 lead with 40 seconds left in the second period. Tomas Jurco scored the power-play goal as he stood in front of the crease and tapped in the rebound of Gustav Nyquist’s wrist shot from the right circle.
McCollum (2-0-0) posted 32 saves for the win. Climie (0-3-0) registered 23 saves.
The Wolves’ next game is 3 p.m. Sunday against the Charlotte Checkers. It’s Peanut Awareness Day and Allstate Arena’s Section 116 will be power-cleaned and washed to ensure fans with nut allergies can enjoy a game at ease. In addition, the arena’s concession stands will not serve peanut-related items. For tickets, call 1-800-THE-WOLVES or visit ChicagoWolves.com.
Grand Rapids 1 2 0 -- 3
Chicago 1 1 0 -- 2
First Period---1, Grand Rapids, Pulkkinen 3 (Emmerton, Hoggan), 8:59; 2, Chicago, Locke 3 (Harper, Shields), 17:53. Penalties---Almquist, Grand Rapids (holding), 3:32.
Second Period---3, Chicago, Regner 2 (Locke, Davies), 12:40 pp; 4, Grand Rapids, Jarnkrok 2 (Jurco), 12:50; 5, Grand Rapids, Jurco 2 (Nyquist, Ferraro), 19:20 pp. Penalties---Almquist, Grand Rapids (boarding), 0:07; Ferraro, Grand Rapids (boarding), 2:07; Wannstrom, Chicago (hooking), 5:17; Nestrasil, Grand Rapids (slashing), 11:30; Clendening, Grand Rapids (tripping), 15:26; Chicago (too many men; served by Davies), 18:50.
Third Period---None. Penalties---Chicago (unsportsmanlike conduct, bench minor; served by Davies), 6:05; Wannstrom, Chicago (goaltender interference), 12:16.
Shots on goal---Grand Rapids: 13-7-6—26; Chicago: 11-15-8—34. Power plays---Grand Rapids 1-4; Chicago 1-5. Goalies—Grand Rapids, McCollum (32-34), Chicago, Climie (23-26). A---4,484. Referees---David Banfield and Trevor Hanson. Linesmen---Peter Cichy and Al Stensland.