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Wolves Fall In Shootout To Griffins

The Chicago Wolves lost to the Grand Rapids Griffins Saturday. (Ross Dettman/Chicago Wolves)

The Chicago Wolves lost to the Grand Rapids Griffins Saturday. (Ross Dettman/Chicago Wolves)

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ROSEMONT, Ill. — The Chicago Wolves rallied to tie the score with two third-period goals and send the game past regulation, but were unable to grab the extra point as the Grand Rapids Griffins earned a 4-3 shootout win Saturday night in front of a season-high 15,155 fans at the Allstate Arena.

Forwards Zack Kassian and Andrew Ebbett and defenseman Mark Matheson scored in regulation for Chicago, while right wing Darren Haydar was the lone Wolves skater to score in a six-round shootout. Chicago has dropped all five of its matchups to Grand Rapids this season and five of its last six tilts overall.

“We got ourselves in a hole tonight, but I liked the way we battled back,” said Wolves head coach Scott Arniel. “We had some chances to win the game, even hit the post in overtime, but when it comes to shootouts it can go either way.”

Trailing 3-1 entering the third period, Chicago (14-12-3-2) used an Ebbett power-play goal at 8:37 to cut its deficit to 3-2. Defenseman Brad Hunt faked a shot from the high slot and instead slid a pass to the far circle for Ebbett, who hammered a one-timer over the glove of Griffins netminder Tom McCollum.

The Wolves knotted the score at three after Kassian dug the puck out behind the net and backhanded a pass to the slot, where Matheson snapped a quick wrister that trickled off the top of McCollum’s glove and over the goal line at 12:29.

After a scoreless five-minute overtime, it was Grand Rapids (20-10-1-1) that earned the extra point as left wing Tomas Tatar and defenseman Chad Billins scored on Wolves goaltender Matt Climie while McCollum denied five of Chicago’s six chances.

Chicago opened scoring while on the power play 9:22 into the first period. With Kassian parked in front of the crease, Ebbett fired a low shot on net that Kassian redirected through McCollum’s legs.

McCollum (8-5-1) posted 25 saves in regulation and overtime.

Grand Rapids turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead in just a 1:07 span. Right wing Luke Glendening scored his first goal of the night when he was sprung into the Wolves zone and with his back to the net, wrapped a shot under Climie’s pads at 11:46.

The Griffins went ahead 2-1 while on the power play when center Landon Ferraro’s shot from the near circle was kicked out by Climie, but the rebound went right to right wing Gustav Nyquist and he deposited a shot into an empty net at 12:53.

Glendening’s second tally of the night inched the Griffins ahead 3-1 at 1:12 of the middle frame. While carrying the puck into the Wolves zone along the far boards, Glendening sent a pass from behind the goal line toward the crease that ricocheted off a Chicago defenseman’s skate and past Climie.

Climie (6-11-1) thwarted 21 of 24 shots while suffering his fifth straight defeat.

The Wolves welcome the Oklahoma City Barons to the Allstate Arena at 4 p.m., on Sunday.

-Chicago Wolves