The Grand Rapids Griffins are not off to the best start. They dropped a 6-3 decision to the Chicago Wolves on Sunday night at Van Andel Arena, and Grand Rapids now sits at 2-4-and-1, good for 5th in the 7-team Central Division.
To the positive, Grand Rapids received two goals from Riley Barber on Sunday, and another goal from Jonatan Berggren, as well as a pair of assists from Taro Hirose, who has posted an assist-per-game over the course of Grand Rapids’ seven games…
But Victor Brattstrom’s 0-2-and-1 with an ugly 4.59 goals-against average, and the Griffins have given up 22 goals and scored only 18 thus far.
They also surrendered a hat trick on Sunday, with Andrew Poturalski scoring a “tour de chapeau” on Sunday, as the Griffins’ game recap notes:
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Riley Barber’s two-goal outing proved not enough as the Grand Rapids Griffins fell to the Chicago Wolves 6-3 at Van Andel Arena on Sunday.
The opening frame was back-and-forth throughout before Chicago’s Andrew Poturalski broke the ice at the 17:45 mark. Stefan Noesen made a pass from the right circle through the slot to Poturalski who stood left of the goal crease for the easy put in, marking 12 unanswered goals from Chicago against the Griffins dating back to May 12, 2021.
The Wolves registered their 13th straight goal early in the second period when Joey Keane came down the left side going coast-to-coast and slipping the puck under Victor Brattstrom’s right skate with 17:41 remaining.
Grand Rapids got in on the scoring at the 7:50 mark when Dominik Shine made a diving pass from the slot connecting with Jonatan Berggren who stood at the right circle for a one-timer, cutting the deficit to one. This goal ended Grand Rapids’ 169:21 scoreless drought against the Wolves, spanning over nearly nine periods.
With three minutes remaining in the second and on a Grand Rapids power play, Kyle Criscuolo stood left of the goal crease and made a setup-pass finding Barber across the slot for the tying tally.
As time was running out before the break, Chicago’s C.J. Smith took control of the puck at the left circle and found Ypsilanti, Mich., native Jalen Chatfield at the right post for a give-and-go score.
Three minutes into the final period, Poturalski found Smith for a one-hand redirect into the right corner of the net beating Brattstorm’s glove to give Chicago a 4-2 lead.
As the Griffins attempted to reduce the deficit, Chicago’s Noesen connected a pass from the left side to Poturalski in the slot for another Chicago score at the 7:12 mark.
Grand Rapids converted on its second power play of the evening with 9:45 remaining in the contest when Chase Pearson stood behind the net to find an open Barber at the right circle for his second, reducing the Wolves lead to two.
A Griffins penalty led to Chicago having the final say in the end. Smith connected with Poturalski once again near the goal crease and he redirected the puck into the bottom of the net for his third goal of the night. Both Smith and Poturalski recorded five points, which is the first time Grand Rapids allowed an opposing player to record five or more points in a game since Jansen Harkins did so for Manitoba on Nov. 2, 2019.
The Griffins also posted a photo gallery and a highlight clip:
Grand Rapids won’t play again until November 15th and 16th, so the Griffins will receive ample time with which to re-set themselves before the AHL season begins in earnest.