Grand Rapids Griffins blunt Chicago Wolves Hockey 7-0 win streak

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Pitlick scores AHL’s best seventh goal in Chicago’s first loss of the season

Striker Riley Barber scored two goals and Kevin Boyle made 22 saves as the Grand Rapids Griffins beat the Chicago Wolves 4-1 on Friday night at the Van Andel Arena.

Center Rem Pitlick scored his seventh goal in the American Hockey League for the Wolves (7-1-0-0), the last AHL team to suffer a defeat this season. The Griffins (4-2-0-0) won their fourth straight win since losing two to Chicago.

Grand Rapids took the lead early on when Barber slid the puck past Antoine Bibeau 3:59 into the game. Barber’s score was the first time in more than five full games – 338 minutes and 48 seconds, to be precise – since the Wolves last fell behind.

Chicago Wolves lose to Grand Rapids Griffins in February 2021. Photo courtesy of the Chicago Wolves

Chicago went into the locker room with a deficit for the first time in the entire season – then Grand Rapids quickly dug the hole deeper in the second period. Dominik Shine scored an air rebound 48 seconds after the rebound and Barber scored the 3-0 at 2:02.

Pitlick started a rally by hitting a ricochet home 42 seconds after the third to reduce the lead to 3-1. Defender Frederic Allard scalded a shot from the point Boyle denied, but Pitlick claimed the ricochet in the slot and threw it home.

The Wolves developed several more chances in the third period, but the Griffins held strong until Givani Smith added an insurance target at 1:53.

Bibeau (1-1-0), who saw his first action since opening night on February 5, ended the game with 31 saves.

The Wolves have an immediate chance to host the Griffins on Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Chicago Wolves Training Facility in Hoffman Estates.

While Illinois state security protocols don’t allow fans to play home games this season, fans can be part of the action with a personalized clipping at 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 (slashed), 9:01; Lindstrom, Grand Rapids (stumble), 12:27 pm.

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 (slashed), 10:02; Shine, Grand Rapids (slashed), 13:18.

Third Period – 4, Chicago, Pitlick 7 (Richard, Allard), 0:48; 5, Grand Rapids, Smith 1 (), July 18.
Penalties – Warsofsky, Chicago (slashed), 4:17; Davies, Chicago (Holding), February 16.

Shots on Goal – Chicago 7-8-8-23; Grand Rapids 9-14-12-35. Power Games – Chicago 0-5; Grand Rapids 0-4. Goalkeeper – Chicago, Bibeau (31-35); Grand Rapids, Boyle (22-23). Referees – Shaun Davis and Jonathon Sitarski. Linesmen – Justin Cornell and Logan Wetekamp.

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Ray Hanania Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, writer, and former reporter for Chicago City Hall (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and received four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on top American and Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and The Reporter Newspapers and Suburban Chicagoland.

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