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Puck Luck Propels Griffins Rally Over Wolves
Zengerle's trickler from the line holds up as game-winner...
By Jason Kasiorek
April 8th, 2016

Grand Rapids overcame an early deficit to rally past the Chicago Wolves in a 4-3 win at Van Andel arena. Down 1-0 early the Griffins got several breaks as a Chicago defender knocked in a Mitch Callahan (19) shot to open the scoring. Eric Tangradi gave the Griffins their first lead a few minutes later, followed by a Colin Campbell shorthanded Tally. Mark Zengerle broke a 3-3 tie late in the third when a weak wrister up the middle found its way into the net to give Grand Rapids the lead. Thomas McCollum was sharp in the win, his 15th of the season, stopping 21 shots.

The Wolves got on the board early when Gervais flew up the slot and blew a shot past McCollum that the Griffins netminder would probably like back. Ryan Sproul did a good job, generating shots from the point on the powerplay. Nice shorthanded chance by Louis-Marc Aubry. Callahan led a 3-on-2 deep into the zone and got taken down trying to get a shot off. He got back up and took a pass and went in on Copley for a shot that the Chicago defender knocked into his own net as he took Callahan down. Give and go with Tangradi and Miele, Miele gave it back with Callahan screening in front and Tangradi tipped it into the open side of the net, stick side for a 2-1 lead. Great work by Sproul, under pressure, to hold the puck in at the line and set up Campbell for a point blank chance. Dan Cleary picked off a puck at the line and sent Campbell in on a shorthanded breakaway. He froze Copley and lifted the puck over him and into the net. Shots on goal: GR 12 - Chi 9.

Grand Rapids trailed off early in the second, apparently nursing their 3-1 lead. The puck squirted out and gave Rattie a breakaway. Rattie hit the post and Caron burned the rebound in over a diving McCollum to cut the lead to one. The Griffins created some energy, trying to push the pace. Callahan with a huge hit along the end boards, then Miele stunned Harrold with a hit. Grand Rapids finally registered their first shot on goal of the period with just over 7 minutes remaining. Hoggan with a great chance in front, and then good second effort to create another. Another good chance by Hoggan with Aubry following up with a whack at it. Vaughan took exception with the scoring chance and dropped the gloves with Aubry. The rangy center connected with several blows before getting tangled up in the unmoored net and pegs and going down. Shots on goal: GR 6 - Chi 8.

Martin Frk with a sneaky shot off his back foot on a feed for Nosek. The Griffins had a scoring chance and then the puck came out setting up a 2-on-1 for Chicago. Ouellet didn't take away the pass (or the shot) and McCollum got torched by Gervais to knot the score at three. As a late GR powerplay expired, Zengerle sent a weak wrister up the slot that somehow found its way through traffic and into the net for a 4-3 lead. Chicago really upped the pressure, and the Griffins are really struggling to clear their own zone. Copley to the bench for an extra attacker with just over a minute remaining. Miele fired the puck into the net after the whistle and promptly got punched by Cannone. The Wolves were really not happy as the Griffins skated off celebrating their 4-3 win. Shots on goal: GR 10 - Chi 7. For the game: GR 28 - Chi 24.

Tangradi - Miele - Callahan
Bertuzzi - Nosek - Frk
Cleary - Zengerle - Campbell
Hoggan - Aubry - Nastasiuk

Paetsch - Sproul
Lashoff - Jensen
Ouellet - Russo

Starter: McCollum
Backup: Coreau

#20 Renouf
#23 Grant - Injury
#32 Hirschfeld - Seizure/Brain Surgery
#44 Rechlicz
#46 Criscuolo

Tangradi - Miele - Frk
Russo - Sproul

Callahan - Zengerle - Bertuzzi
Paetsch - Ouellet

Aubry - Nosek
Lashoff - Jensen

Cleary - Campbell
Paetsch - Ouellet


While I have been very critical of Dan Cleary for most of the season, I have to give credit where it is due and say he looked pretty good tonight. He seemed t have a lot of jump, and showed off his skill level, picking off passes to create scoring chances. Here's to hoping he keeps up the good work into the post season.

Tangradi had a lot of jump and looked very good tonight as did linemate Mitch Callahan who had several more quality scoring chances than his 2 official shots on goal would indicate.

Official Game Sheet