The Griffins returned to home ice to face the Chicago Wolves and as usually expected when these two teams meet, sparks flew and the fans in attendance certainly got their money’s worth.
Matt Lorito scored the game winning goal in overtime while Tomas Nosek, who recently returned from a short stint in Detroit, and Joe Hicketts each chipped in a pair of goals. Nosek also had an assist on the second Hicketts goal.
With the victory over Chicago, the Griffins are now within two points of the division and AHL leading Milwaukee Admirals who come into Grand Rapids on Friday night.
Kyle Criscuolo started the scoring for the Griffins thanks to a solid individual effort. Wolves goalie Jordan Binnington was trying to handle the puck behind his own net but Criscuolo came and took the puck away and scored on the backhand before Binnington had a chance to deny him.
The Griffins added to their lead when Tomas Nosek scored a power play goal which now marks 13 consecutive games where the Griffins have scored on the man advantage. Nosek received a pass from Matthew Ford right on the doorstep and Nosek got the puck into the open net.
Chicago got on the board on its own power play when Wade Megan scored on a redirection that found its way just past the leg of Griffins goalie Cal Heeter. Just a few minutes later, the Wolves tied the game with a goal by Bryce Gervais and then just over a minute later the Wolves took a 3-2 lead when Megan scored his second goal on a shot from the left faceoff circle.
The Griffins did not need much time to retake the lead. Defenseman Joe Hicketts tied the game on a one-timer coming from Mitch Callahan and then Tomas Nosek reclaimed the lead for Grand Rapids by stealing the puck and then raced to the goal for a shot that found the inside of the far post. The score after two periods of play was 4-3 Griffins.
Joe Hicketts scored his second goal of the night by blasting a point shot off of a draw that was won by Tomas Nosek. Chicago answered when the leading point scorer in the AHL, Brad Hunt, scored a goal cutting the Griffins lead to 5-4.
The Wolves scored yet again on a power play to make the score 5-5 with under five minutes remaining in the final period. Andrew Agozzino scored the tying goal for Chicago.This game marked the fourth game in the past five where the Griffins entered the extra frame.
The Griffins found their way on the winning end of it this time when Matt Lorito scored the winning goal off of a Matt Ford pass for a 6-5 victory.
Cal Heeter made his home debut for the Griffins and improved to 2-0. Heeter made 36 saves with 21 of those save coming in the first period.
The Griffins improved their record to 13-6-0-2 on the season.
Three Stars: 1. GR Nosek (two goals, assist) 2. CHI Agostino (four assists)3. GR Hicketts (two goals)