29 December 2013

Wolves outlast Checkers in 4-3 win

ROSEMONT, Ill. --- The Chicago Wolves completed their three-in-three with five of a possible six points as they capped the weekend with a 4-3 win over the Charlotte Checkers on Sunday afternoon at Allstate Arena.

Centers Christian Hanson and Pat Cannone and right wings Michael Davies and Sebastian Wannstrom tallied for the Wolves (17-12-1-2) in their fifth win in the last six games. Goaltender Jake Allen finished the game with 33 saves.

“We started off a little shaky and Jake made some big saves for us early on,” said Wolves head coach John Anderson. “ But from there we settled in and I thought we took the game over.”

The Wolves (17-12-1-2) struck early in the game as they took advantage of a delayed penalty to take the lead at 2:08. Defenseman Joel Edmundson moved the puck behind the cage and sent it towards the crease, where Hanson found it on the doorstep for the open net.

The lead did not last long as right wing Aaron Palushaj tied the score at 10:46 for the Checkers (13-17-0-1). Left wing Nicolas Blanchard fed the puck cross-ice from the wall, just out of the reach of a Wolves defender and on to the stick of Palushaj, who knocked it inside the far post.

As both teams exchanged chances, Davies broke the tie to put Chicago up 2-1 at 12:25 of the second period. Right wing Mark Mancari rimmed the puck around the boards to center Keith Aucoin at the left-wall hashmarks. Aucoin snapped a pass to Davies on the far side of the net to tap it in behind Checkers goaltender Anton Khudobin.

Responding promptly, Charlotte knotted the score less than two minutes later on Palushaj’s second tally of the night. Palushaj received a pass just inside the blue line and ripped a shot by Allen.

As the second period wound down, the Wolves again regained the lead. The puck was sent down low and picked up by Wannstrom, who cycled around the front of the net and fed the puck back behind the cage to right wing Cody Beach. Beach passed it back to Wannstrom in front of the net for a quick shot past Khudobin.

With Charlotte pressuring Chicago for the equalizer in the last minutes of the game, the Wolves added some insurance on the power play. As the puck sat in the crease and a scrum formed, Davies and Cannone both poked at it, with Cannone finding a hole for the eventual game-winner.

Charlotte left wing Justin Shugg scored with an extra attacker at 18:25 to pull the Checkers within a goal, but Allen (14-7-2) held off a late-game flurry to earn the win.

Khudobin (0-1-0) kicked out 36 shots.

Chicago kicks off 2014 at 6 p.m. Friday at Grand Rapids. The team returns home at 7 p.m. Saturday to face Iowa. For tickets, call 1-800-THE-WOLVES or visit ChicagoWolves.com.


Charlotte 1 1 1 -- 3
Chicago 1 2 1 -- 4

First Period---1, Chicago, Hanson 3 (Edmundson, Beach), 2:08; 2, Charlotte, Palushaj 8 (Blanchard, Corrente), 10:46. Penalties---Palushaj, Charlotte (hooking), 14:12; Bre. Sutter, Charlotte (slashing), 16:24.

Second Period---3, Chicago, Davies 2 (Aucoin, Mancari), 12:49; 4, Charlotte, Palushaj 9 (Bro. Sutter, Blanchard), 14:42; 5, Chicago, Wannstrom 2 (Beach), 18:10. Penalties---None.

Third Period---6, Chicago, Cannone 6 (Aucoin, Fairchild), 15:41 pp; 7, Charlotte, Shugg 8 (Palushaj), 18:25. Penalties---Fairchild, Chicago (slashing), 1:40; Cannone, Chicago (slashing), 3:04; Mancari, Chicago (roughing), 10:40; Woods, Charlotte (elbowing), 10:40; Bre. Sutter, Charlotte (slashing), 14:43.

Shots on goal---Charlotte: 14-12-10—36; Chicago: 10-17-13—40. Power plays---Charlotte 0-2; Chicago 1-3. Goalies—Charlotte, Khudobin (36-40), Chicago, Allen (33-36). A---7,120. Referees---Tom Chmielewski and Joe Sullivan. Linesmen---Peter Cichy and Alex Stagnone.