Scoring started early and happened often when the Chicago Wolves visited the Grand Rapids Griffins Friday night, but it was the Griffins who emerged victorious at Van Andel Arena, sending home Chicago home with a 4-3 loss.
Goaltender Eddie Lack (6-4) was between the pipes for the Wolves, stopping 25 of 29 shots. Petr Mrazek (6-0) got the call for Grand Rapids, finishing with 25 saves of 28 shots.
Chicago had given up the first goal in its last four road games leading into Friday's tilt and the Griffins were quick to make it five in a row. Tomas Tatar lit the lamp first, beating Lack for his sixth score of the season 7:56 into the game.
The Wolves fought from behind until center Alex Friesen had a penalty shot opportunity to even the score midway through the second frame, but a shot right on Mrazek was turned away.
Friesen may have missed, but Wolves defenseman Mark Matheson's aim moments later was true, as he went five-hole on Mrazek for his third goal of the year and second in two games. But just as Chicago drew even, Grand Rapids right wing Mitch Callahan came calling, shooting his first score of the season past Lack and putting the Griffins up 2-1.
Their lead wouldn't last into the third period though, with Chicago storming back on a Chris Tanev strike that bounced off Mrazek's goal post and into the net at the 17:37 mark of the period. With those two helpers the Wolves hold a plus-6 goal differential in second period play this season.
Starting the third period off with a bang on the power play, a one-timer from Griffins defenseman Chad Billins that bounced off Lack's arm and into the net to give Grand Rapids the edge (again), but Chicago quickly countered with a tap-in at Mrazek's doorstep from forward Anton Rodin at 5:53.
The score stayed knotted until Tatar came knocking, blasting his second of the night through Lack with two minutes left to play. Chicago pulled its goalie soon after but the extra man wasn't enough to secure a comeback.