The Chicago Wolves came from behind to tie the game with two seconds left in regulation and came away with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Peoria Rivermen at the Allstate Arena Wednesday night.
With Wolves goaltender Edward Pasquale pulled for an extra attacker, defenseman Mark Matheson cranked a shot from the point that snuck through traffic in front of the net and between Peoria goaltender Ben Bishop’s legs to knot the score, 2-2, at 19:58 of the third period.
Forwards Ryan Garbutt and Jason Krog scored for Chicago in the shootout, while Pasquale stopped four of Peoria’s five shootout attempts. Krog provided the other regulation goal for Chicago (34-25-3-5), which pulled within one point of Peoria (35-24-2-5) in the standings for the fourth and final West Division playoff spot with the win.
“It wasn’t looking too good for us before that last minute goal. Bishop played very well,” said Wolves Assistant Coach Ron Wilson. “They are ahead of us in the standings and we’ve had some tough breaks against them lately, so it was nice we finally got one tonight.”
Peoria drew first blood, 3:23 into the second period when right wing Blair Riley collected the puck in the corner and sent a pass out front to Jim McKenzie, who turned and ripped it past Pasquale.
The Rivermen took a 2-0 lead, 6:48 into the second frame when Mark Cundari’s bullet from the blue line breezed through traffic in front of the net and past Pasquale.
Pasquale (7-6-0) posted 20 saves for the Wolves.
A power-play goal by Krog, 13:15 into the second period made the score 2-1. Center Ben Maxwell fired a pass up the ice to Krog in the right circle and the Wolves captain clapped it past Bishop.
Bishop (15-12-2) turned aside 40 shots in regulation and overtime, and stopped three Wolves tries in the shootout.
The Wolves and Rivermen meet again on Friday at the Allstate Arena at 7:30 p.m.
Peoria 0 2 0 0 — 2
Chicago 0 1 1 0 (1) — 3 Shootout
First Period—None. Penalties—Sonne, Peoria (holding the stick), 3:28; Riley, Peoria (holding), 10:37.
Second Period—1, Peoria, McKenzie 1 (Riley), 3:23; 2, Peoria, Cundari 10 (Drazenovic, Spina), 6:48 pp; 3, Chicago, Krog 16 (Maxwell, Godfrey), 13:15 pp. Penalties—Peluso, Peoria (fighting), 2:42; Brennan, Chicago (fighting), 2:42; Garbutt, Chicago (cross-checking), 5:09; Krog, Chicago (holding), 8:38; Mink, Peoria (holding the stick), 11:22; Bishop, Peoria (slashing), 11:49; Peltier, Peoria (slashing), 18:05.
Third Period—4, Chicago, Matheson 6 (Krog, Sifers), 19:58. Penalties—Aliu, Peoria (hooking), 1:42; Welch, Chicago (hooking), 4:18.
Shootout—Peoria: Ricci, miss; Aliu, made; Drazenovic, miss; Oystrick, miss; Mink, miss. Chicago: Davies, miss; Maxwell, miss; Garbutt, made; Krog, made; Haydar, miss.
Shots on goal—Peoria: 7-8-5-2–22. Chicago: 13-14-12-3-1–43. Power plays—Peoria: 1-3. Chicago: 1-6. Goalies—Peoria, Bishop (40-42). Chicago, Pasquale (20-22). A—5,213. Referee—Shaun Davis and Joe Sullivan. Linesmen—Mike Hamilton and Peter Cichy.