Wolves stymied by Griffins' hot start in Game 3

Daily Herald News Services
Updated 5/6/2017 10:01 PM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Grand Rapids turned the tables in Game 3 of the Central Division Finals and produced a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Wolves on Saturday night at Van Andel Arena.

Just as the Wolves bolted to a 3-0 first-period lead in Game 2 on Friday night at Allstate Arena on the way to a 7-3 triumph, the Griffins seized a 3-0 lead in the opening 11 minutes on Saturday to take control.

Defenseman Chris Butler and forward Mackenzie MacEachern scored in the third period to pull the Wolves within 3-2 with 13:38 to play, but Grand Rapids answered MacEachern's tally 16 seconds later with a Joe Hicketts tip that helped the Griffins take a 2-1 lead in this best-of-seven Calder Cup Playoffs series.

Grand Rapids' Matthew Ford opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 5:09. Ben Street delivered on a 2-on-1 rush at the 10:00 mark and Tyler Bertuzzi scored on a scramble just outside the crease at 10:30.

Wolves head coach Craig Berube replaced Wolves goaltender Ville Husso (4-4) at that juncture in favor of Jordan Binnington. Husso posted 6 saves to take the loss while Binnington stopped 30 of 31 shots in his first postseason appearance this year.

Wolves center Wade Megan, the AHL's leading goal-scorer during the regular season, went through warmups before determining his injuries wouldn't allow him to play.

The Wolves and Griffins meet for Game 4 at 6 p.m. Monday in Grand Rapids.

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