The Chicago Wolves received some late-game heroics from rookie left wing Dmitrij Jaskin, who scored with 2:09 left to complete the Wolves' 3-2 victory over the Western Conference-leading Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday night at the Allstate Arena.
Right wing Mark Mancari (goal, assist) and defenseman David Shields also scored for the Wolves. Goaltender Jake Allen (12-7-2) held off a late flurry from the Griffins to finish with 20 saves.
"Grand Rapids never quits, and I was happy to see us match their intensity late in the game," Wolves coach John Anderson said. "We missed some point-blank chances early, but I was glad to get the game-winner in regulation."
The Wolves (14-12-0-2) waited only two minutes into the game to open scoring as Mancari scored his third goal in as many games. Defenseman Cade Fairchild intercepted a pass at center ice and sent the puck to Mancari, who carried it into the zone and made a move around a group of Griffins to set up a shot that beat goaltender Tom McCollum glove-side.
After outshooting Grand Rapids 13-5 in the first period, the Wolves added to their lead early in the middle period. Shields, pinching in the middle of the offensive zone, gave the Wolves a 2-goal lead at 2:25 after accepting a pass from Mancari at the wall and burying it behind McCollum.
Grand Rapids got on the board at 13:16 of the second period. The Griffins won a faceoff in the offensive zone, and defenseman Brennan Evans took a shot off a rebound that snuck past a screened Allen.
The Griffins tied the game 2:23 into the final period as left wing Triston Grant scored on a wraparound. Grant picked up a rebound off a backhanded shot from the perimeter of the zone and spun around behind the net, tucking the puck inside the post before Allen could cover it.
Jaskin put the Wolves ahead 3-2 with 2:09 remaining. Center Alexandre Bolduc muscled the puck into the zone and around the back of the net. The Wolves forwards crashed the crease, firing multiple shots on McCollum at close range with Jaskin finding a hole to score the game-winner.
McCollum (11-4-0) made 33 saves in the loss.
Chicago meets Milwaukee on Sunday for a 4 p.m. Amtrak Rivalry matchup at the Allstate Arena.