It wasn’t easy, but the Chicago Wolves have knotted up their first round series with the Grand Rapids Griffins with a 3-2 victory at the Allstate Arena on Saturday night.
Keegan Kolesar ended up being credited with the game-winning goal, and Zach Whitecloud and Tomas Hyka both scored goals of their own as the Wolves tied up the series at a game apiece. Max Lagace made 22 saves in the winning effort for Chicago.
Chris Terry and Colin Campbell scored goals for the Griffins, but it wasn’t enough as their late comeback attempt came up short against the Central Division champions.
After a scoreless first period, the goals started coming fast and furious in the second period, and it was the Wolves that got on the board first. After a tremendous play by the Wolves to keep the puck in the zone at the blue line, Tye McGinn feathered a pass across the ice to Hyka, and he didn’t miss on his one-timer shot as he beat Harri Sateri and gave Chicago a 1-0 lead.
After Campbell tied the game just 40 seconds later, the Wolves once again would take the lead with seven minutes remaining in the second period. On another perfectly executed play, Curtis McKenzie circled beneath the face-off dot, and he put a pass right on the tape for Whitecloud, who ripped home a one-timer to give the Wolves a 2-1 edge in the game.
Less than a minute later, the Wolves extended their lead thanks to Keegan Kolesar. After a shot from Zac Leslie was stopped in front, the puck landed at Kolesar’s skates, and he fired home a quick wrist shot to put his team ahead by two goals.
That lead would stay in place until late in the third period, when Terry scored with 4:30 remaining to make it 3-2. Through a flurry of late game chances, Lagace made a slew of big-time saves, and when T.J. Tynan dropped to one knee to block a shot from the point, the clock ran out and the Wolves found themselves back in the series.
The teams will have a few days off before resuming hostilities in Grand Rapids, with Game 3 slated for Tuesday night. Puck drop is set for 6 p.m., and the game will air on The U Too in Chicago.