CLEVELAND, Ohio --- The Chicago Wolves power play came to life as they wrapped up a perfect three-game road trip with a 3-2 win over Lake Erie on Thursday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
Forwards Andrew Gordon and Jordan Schroeder delivered power-play goals while Darren Haydar added a valuable empty-net score with 1:34 left to extend Chicago’s AHL Midwest Division lead to two points over Peoria.
Rookie defenseman Brad Hunt added assists on both man-advantage scores to earn his first two professional points since signing with the Wolves on March 14. Matt Climie earned 22 saves for his second win at Lake Erie in six days.
Chicago (35-24-2-3) went 2-for-3 on the man-advantage, recording multiple power-play goals for the ninth time this season and snapping 0-for-18 slump.
The Wolves opened the scoring with its first power-play strike from right wing Gordon 8:19 into the first period. Chicago defenseman Nolan Baumgartner fired a shot from the point through traffic that was first deflected off Hunt’s stick and then off Gordon’s stick for the team’s first power-play goal in five games. The goal extended Chicago’s streak of a special-teams goal to three straight games following short-handed tallies on Saturday and Sunday.
Chicago’s early lead didn’t last long. Lake Erie left wing Greg Mauldin evened the score 34 seconds later, driving to the net and flipping a backhander over the left leg of Climie (18-9-0).
The Wolves regained the lead midway through the second period with their second power-play goal. Schroeder used a screen by left wing Bill Sweatt and let go a blast from the left side, beating Monsters goaltender Cedrick Desjardins short side over his right shoulder for his 17th goal of the season. Steven Reinprecht also earned an assist on the play.
Haydar clinched the victory with the eventual game-winning empty-net goal from his own blueline, becoming the fourth Wolves player to earn 300 career points.
Lake Erie left wing Patrick Rissmiller, who appeared in six games for the Wolves last season, got the Monsters back within a goal with just over three seconds left, punching home the puck during a net-mouth scramble. Desjardins (12-9-3) posted 29 saves in the loss.
The Wolves return to Allstate Arena for a pair of games this weekend. They’ll wear their St. Patrick’s commemorative jerseys while facing the Hamilton Bulldogs at 7 p.m. Saturday and the Houston Aeros at 3 p.m. Sunday at 3 p.m. For ticket information, visit chicagowolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
Chicago 1 1 1 -- 3
Lake Erie 1 0 1 -- 2
First Period--- 1, Chicago, Gordon 5 (Baumgartner, Hunt), 8:19 pp; 2, Lake Erie, Mauldin 15 (Malone), 8:53. Penalties---Connolly, Lake Erie (tripping), 7:34.
Second Period--- 3, Chicago, Schroeder 17 (Reinprecht, Hunt), 10:05 pp. Penalties---Gens, Lake Erie (delay of game), 4:26; Hunter, Lake Erie (boarding), 9:07; Miller Chicago, (high-sticking), 12:07; Roussel, Chicago (fighting), 19:44; Liffiton, Lake Erie (fighting), 19:44.
Third Period---4, Chicago, Haydar 16 (unassisted), 18:26 en; 5, Lake Erie, Rissmiller 12 (Malone), 19:56. Penalties---Matheson, Chicago (hooking), 5:44. Shots on goal---Chicago: 15-9-7---32; Lake Erie: 7-12-5—24. Power plays---Chicago 2-3; Lake Erie 0-2. Goalies---Chicago, Climie (22-24); Lake Erie, Desjardins (29-31). A---5,494. Referees---Marcus Vinnerborg and Chris Ciamaga. Linesmen---Brian Wisner and Mike Sheehan.