31 January 2014

Cracknell, Wolves Fly by Griffins 6-2


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. --- Five different players scored as the Chicago Wolves finished off a five-game road trip with a 6-2 win over the Western Conference-leading Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday night at Van Andel Arena.

Center Adam Cracknell (2G, A) paced Chicago’s offense with three points, tying a career-high, while defenseman Taylor Chorney (2A) and forward Nathan Longpre (G, A) also posted multiple-point efforts. Right wing Ty Rattie, defenseman Mark Cundari, and center Alexandre Bolduc rounded out the goal scorers.

The Wolves (24-16-2-2) got on the board first at 13:29 as Cracknell scored his second game-opening goal in as many contests. Defenseman Evan Oberg led a rush up ice and sent a cross-zone pass to Cracknell, who fired a wrist shot top-corner.

Just over a minute later, Chicago extended its lead. Following a battle along the boards, the puck squirted out to the point. Longpre picked it up and sent an off-balanced shot through traffic to beat Griffins goaltender Tom McCollum at 14:41.

Cracknell added his second of the night only 12 seconds into the middle frame. As the Wolves pressured in the Griffins’ zone, a Grand Rapids defender threw the puck to the middle of the zone, where Cracknell picked it off and scored with a quick shot.

Grand Rapids (28-13-2-2) cut into Chicago’s lead with a power-play marker at 6:08. Right wing Mitch Callahan redirected a hard shot from the point while screening goaltender Jake Allen in front of the crease.

Following an expired power play, Rattie regained the Wolves three-goal margin at 9:10. Allen banked a long pass off the boards to spring the offense. After a flurry of shots, the rookie crashed the net and pushed the loose puck over the goal line.

Defenseman Adam Almquist scored 6:44 into the third period to make it 4-2, but Cundari responded 49 seconds later for Chicago. Cracknell carried the puck into the zone and dropped it back to Chorney. The defenseman sent a short pass to Cundari, who patiently waited for McCollum to drop to the ice before roofing the puck nearside.

Bolduc iced the win, finishing off a tic-tac-toe passing play with Longpre and right wing Shane Harper at 18:08 to end the game 6-2.

Allen (18-11-2) thwarted 23 of 25 shots while McCollum (18-9-1) kicked out 22 of 28.

Chicago returns to Allstate Arena from its five-game road trip to faceoff at 7 p.m. Saturday against Midwest Division rival Iowa.

Chicago 2 2 2 -- 6
Grand Rapids 0 1 1 -- 2

First Period---1, Chicago, Cracknell 2 (Oberg, Porter), 13:29; 2, Chicago, Longpre 4 (Chorney), 14:41. Penalties---McIntyre, Grand Rapids (interference), 7:38; Beach, Chicago (fighting), 14:19; Aubry, Grand Rapids (fighting), 14:19.

Second Period---3, Chicago, Cracknell 3 (unassisted), 0:12; 4, Grand Rapids, Callahan 18 (Almquist, Pulkkinen), 6:08 pp; 5, Chicago, Rattie 15 (Hanson, Beach), 9:10. Penalties---Porter, Chicago (high-sticking), 4:54; Grant, Grand Rapids (crosschecking), 6:43; Beach, Chicago (holding), 10:18; Grant, Grand Rapids (crosschecking), 14:33; Porter, Chicago (high-sticking), 16:44.

Third Period---6, Grand Rapids, Almquist 2 (Pulkkinen, Jarnkrok), 6:44; 7, Chicago, Cundari 6 (Chorney, Cracknell), 7:33; 8, Chicago, Bolduc 7 (Longpre, Harper), 18:08. Penalties---Beach, Chicago (roughing), 2:52; Tootoo, Grand Rapids (roughing), 5:43; Beach, Chicago (roughing), 5:43; Sproul, Grand Rapids (slashing), 8:57.

Shots on goal---Chicago: 7-12-9—28; Grand Rapids: 3-14-8—25. Power plays---Chicago 0-4; Grand Rapids 1-4. Goalies—Chicago, Allen (23-25), Grand Rapids, McCollum (22-28). A---10,834. Referees---Fred LeBlanc and Jarrod Ragusin. Linesmen---Jared Hoffmeyer and Jim Scarpace.