19th December 15:46
Wolves defeat Grand Rapids to begin New Year with bang
Kari Lehtonen has a four game unbeaten streak after posting a win against
HE WAS ALSO THE GAME'S #1 STAR WITH 38 SAVES AND AN ASSIST..........
Here's the game story:
ROSEMONT, Ill.---Chicago Wolves goaltender Kari Lehtonen registered 38 saves
on 39 shots to help
the Wolves topple the West Division-leading Grand Rapids Griffins, 4-1, at
the Allstate Arena
Chicago (16-12-5-2) pulled within five points of the Griffins in the West
Grand Rapids (20-11-4-0) lost for the second straight game.
"We played a really good game tonight," said Wolves Head Coach John
Anderson. "I think it was
one of our most consistent efforts this year. They didn't quit - they kept
coming at us, but I
think it was more of what we did than what they did. When they have the
lead, they're a really
tough team. That first goal was a huge factor."
The Wolves' New Year's resolution might have been to shoot more, as they
came out firing in the
first period, outgunning the Griffins, 15 to 2, in the opening 13 minutes.
On their 12th shot,
the Wolves took a 1-0 lead when left wing Steve Maltais fired a slap shot
from the bottom of the
left circle that squeezed into the far side of the net over the glove hand
of Griffins netminder
Marc Lamothe at 6:52 of the first period.
Lamothe (12-10-2) posted 20 saves in his 10th loss before being replaced by
Joey MacDonald late
in the second period. MacDonald (7-1-2) registered nine saves in the loss.
Chicago went ahead, 2-0, early in the second period when right wing Brad
Tapper outbattled a
Griffins forward along the boards and cut toward the slot, finding left wing
Eric Healey alone
on the doorstep. Healey one-timed Tapper's pass, top-shelf, past Lamothe at
3:10 of the second
Chicago padded its lead, 3-0, when left wing Karl Stewart redirected a pass
from defenseman Luke
Sellars, top-shelf, into the net at 8:28 of the middle frame.
Despite being short-handed, the Wolves tacked on another marker, 4-0,
matching their season-high
for goals in a period when center Derek MacKenzie ripped a shot that slipped
five-hole at 16:43 of the second stanza.
The Griffins avoided the shutout, 4-1, midway through the final frame when
right wing Tomas
Kopecky picked up the puck after it deflected off the skate of a Wolves
defenseman and sent it
to center Nathan Robinson. Robinson threaded a shot high over Lehtonen's
stick at 11:05 of the
Lehtonen registered his 12th win (12-9-0-1), which tied him for the
second-most in the league.
The Wolves play host to the Houston Aeros at the Allstate Arena on Saturday
at 7 p.m.
First Period---1, Chicago, Maltais 10 (Santala, Weaver), 6:52.
Penalties---Ellis, Grand Rapids
(holding), 3:06; Barnes, Grand Rapids (fighting), 5:36; DiPenta, Chicago
Kopecky, Grand Rapids (tripping), 8:46.
Second Period---2, Chicago, Healey 11 (Tapper, Swanson), 3:10; 3, Chicago,
Stewart 4 (Sellars,
Foster), 8:28; 4, Chicago, MacKenzie 10 (Lehtonen), 16:43 sh.
(interference), 8:51; Hawgood, Chicago (holding the stick), 14:46.
Third Period---5, Grand Rapids, Robinson 13 (Kopecky, Myrvold), 11:05.
Chicago (holding the stick), 3:11; Groulx, Grand Rapids (holding the stick),
Grand Rapids (holding), 16:12.
Shots on goal---Grand Rapids: 7-16-16--39. Chicago: 15-13-5--33.
Power plays---Grand Rapids: 0-3. Chicago: 0-4. Goalies---Grand Rapids,
Lamothe (20-24), replaced
by MacDonald (9-9) at 16:43. Chicago, Lehtonen (38-39). A---6,114.
Referee---Dan O'Rourke. Linesmen---Stephen Campbell and Peter Cichy.