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Black Friday No Bargain For Wolves

Chicago Wolves

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It was a back-and-forth affair at Van Andel Arena Friday night, but the Chicago Wolves couldn’t get the final score in a 4-3 loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Mark Matheson, Chris Tanev and Anton Rodin lit the lamp for the Wolves (8-6-2-0), who were tied with the Griffins for first place in the American Hockey League’s Midwest Division when the night began.

The Wolves have allowed the first goal in their last four road games, winning only one of those contests. The home team struck first again, with Grand Rapids left wing Tomas Tatar getting his sixth of the year at 7:56 in the first period.

Wolves center Alex Friesen tried to score the equalizer on a penalty shot before the six-minute mark of the second frame, but Grand Rapids netminder Petr Mrazek (6-0-0) stood tall to turn him away. Matheson got Chicago on the board at 8:25 in the period as he went five-hole on Mrazek for his third of the season and second goal in two games.

Grand Rapids (9-4-1-1), which ran its winning streak to seven games, responded in rapid succession as right wing Mitch Callahan potted his first of the season 13 seconds later.

The Griffins held a 2-1 lead until Tanev fired a shot that ricocheted off the goal post and into the mesh at the 17:37 mark of the second. With those two markers, the Wolves moved to plus-6 in their second-period goal differential for the season.

Grand Rapids regained a 3-2 lead on defenseman Chad Billins’ power-play goal 36 seconds into the third period. Hot on his heels was Rodin’s rebound goal at 5:53 of the third.

Tatar bookended the game and picked up the game-winning goal past Wolves goaltender Eddie Lack at 17:47. Lack (6-4-0) stopped 25 of 29 shots. Mrazek also posted 25 saves.

Chicago hosts the Milwaukee Admirals in an Amtrak Rivalry game at Allstate Arena Saturday night.

–Chicago Wolves