GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The Chicago Wolves climbed to the top of the AHL's Midwest Division largely due to a stingy defense.
The Wolves clinched the Midwest Division title Friday night at Van Andel Arena with a season-high offensive outburst.
Chicago rallied for a 7-5 triumph over the Grand Rapids Grifins as rookies Anton Rodin and Tyler Matson and high-scoring veterans Mark Mancari and Steve Reinprecht delivered the game's final 4 goals over the last 15 minutes.
The Wolves (41-27-3-3) clinched the Western Conference's No. 3 seed in the 2012 Calder Cup playoffs. They'll learn their first-round opponent and schedule after Sunday's regular-season finale against Peoria at Allstate Arena.
Jordan Schroeder, Darren Haydar and Reinprecht scored in the opening 37 minutes to stake the Wolves to a 3-1 lead. The Griffins, fighting in vain to keep their playoff chances alive, responded with four consecutive goals in five minutes, 24 seconds.