The Griffins were back at it for the first time in 2017, defeating the Iowa Wild 6-5. They are now in sole possession of first place in the Western Conference. Tomas Nosek and Ben Street each had two goals a piece.
Grand Rapids won their fifth straight game at home. With this win, the Griffins are now 21-8-1-2 (45 points) and have a winning percentage of .703. The Ontario Reign come in at second in the Conference with a .696 winning percentage. Eddie Pasquale improved to 7-2-3 on the season.
Ben Street began the scoring for the Griffins just over 5 minutes into the game. Joe Hicketts sent a pass to Mitch Callahan and he fed the puck right to Street for a wrist shot passed the Wild goalie Alex Stalock. Street scored again just a couple of minutes later on a shorthanded situation. Dan Renouf intercepted an Iowa pass and found Street for his second goal of the night.
The Wild would score just a few seconds later on the same power play to cut the Griffins lead in half at 2-1.
Tomas Nosek extended the Griffins lead to two with the assist coming from Martin Frk. Iowa would answer again less than a minute later as Zac Daple scored on a pass from Colton Beck. The score stood 3-2 Griffins.
Iowa would eventually tie the game on a Christoph Bertschy slap shot from the left faceoff circle. But the Griffins went ahead once again when Dominic Turgeon gathered a rebound near the net for his third goal of the season. Nosek added his second goal of the night as he split two Iowa defenders and got the shot over Stalock’s blocker to push the Griffins lead to 2 goals once again.
But the Wild would add another goal from Grayson Downing, cutting the lead to one at 5-4.
Joe Hicketts scored what eventually turned out to be the game winner on a point wrist shot to extend the lead to two once again. Matt Ford assisted on the goal for his first point in his first game. Ford missed the previous eight games with an injury.
But former Griffin Teemu Pulkkinen lasered a shot past Eddie Pasquale for his 12th of the year and the first against his old teammates.
The Wild pulled the goalie for an extra attacker with a couple of minutes left but were unable to tie the game. Stalock made 27 saves for Iowa, whose record dropped to 14-18-2-1.
The Griffins will finish up their four game homestand when they host the Charlotte Checkers on Friday and the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday.
Three Stars: 1. GR Nosek (two goals, assist) 2. GR Street (two goals, assist) 3. IA Pulkkinen (goal, assist)