ROSEMONT, Ill. – Grand Rapids goaltender Petr Mrazek stopped 27 shots as the Griffins posted a 5-0 victory over the Chicago Wolves on Saturday night at Allstate Arena.
The Midwest Division-leading Griffins (33-17-5-1) set a franchise record with their eighth win in a row while the Wolves (27-21-5-1) have dropped back-to-back games for the first time in more than a month.
“The first 10 minutes I thought we were really good, then we just fell apart at the seams,” said Wolves head coach John Anderson. “Grand Rapids and Oklahoma City are the best teams in the American League right now that I’ve seen. If we want to compete with the best teams, we’ve got to play a lot better than this.”
Grand Rapids got on the board at 11:03 of the first period on defenseman Brian Lashoff’s unassisted goal. The Griffins owned possession in the offensive zone for an extended period and, when the Wolves tried to clear the puck, Lashoff intercepted it and whistled a wrister from the left point beyond screened goaltender Jordan Binnington’s glove.
The Griffins pushed the margin to 2-0 on Kevin Porter’s goal at 3:44 of the second. The play started with a faceoff that Grand Rapids won in Chicago’s offensive zone, then Landon Ferraro pushed the puck up to Porter at center ice. He raced down the right side and lifted a wrister past Binnington.
Grand Rapids made it 3-0 with Andy Miele’s power-play goal at 18:37 of the second. Marek Tvrdon, Mark Zengerle, and Miele connected on a tic-tac-toe play that ended with Miele firing on an open net from the bottom of the left circle.
The Wolves removed Binnington in favor of Matt Climie to start the third period and the Griffins went ahead 4-0 on Ferraro’s short-handed goal 6:34 into the third. When the visitors went ahead 5-0 at 12:17, Mantha was credited with the goal after a mishandled puck ricocheted off three skates and trickled into the net.
Binnington (18-12-3), who extended his franchise record with his 16th consecutive start, posted 24 saves. Climie stopped 5 shots in the third. Mrazek (8-2-0) recorded his third shutout in eight days.
The Wolves wrap up their seven-game homestand on Sunday when they host the Milwaukee Admirals at 3 p.m. in an Amtrak Rivalry clash. To get the best ticket specials, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
GRIFFINS 5, WOLVES 0
Grand Rapids 1 2 2 — 5
Chicago 0 0 0 — 0
First Period—1, Grand Rapids, Lashoff 1 (unassisted), 11:03. Penalties—Sproul, Grand Rapids (holding), 12:06; Edmundson, Chicago (cross-checking), 13:01.
Second Period—2, Grand Rapids, Porter 9 (Ferraro, Nosek), 3:44; 3, Grand Rapids, Miele 19 (Zengerle, Tvrdon), 18:37 pp. Penalties—Veilleux, Chicago (slashing), 17:37.
Third Period—4, Grand Rapids, Feraro 23 (unassisted), 6:34 sh; 5, Grand Rapids, Mantha 11 (unassisted), 12:17. Penalties—Veilleux, Chicago (kneeing, fighting), 3:55; Bruton, Grand Rapids (fighting), 3:55; Mantha, Grand Rapids (high-sticking double minor), 5:23; Eager, Chicago (cross-checking), 10:06; Eager, Chicago (high-sticking, 10-minute misconduct), 19:08; Bruton, Grand Rapids (10-minute misconduct), 19:08.
Shots on goal—Grand Rapids 13-14-7—34; Chicago 8-7-12—27. Power plays—Grand Rapids 1-5; Chicago 0-3. Goalies—Grand Rapids, Mrazek (27-27); Chicago, Binnington (24-27), replaced at 40:00 by Climie (5-7). A—8,713. Referee—Terry Koharski. Linesmen—Jim Scarpace and Al Stensland.
Courtesy Chicago Wolves