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SAN ANTONIO — Despite 2 assists from captain Darren Haydar, the Chicago Wolves settled for 1 point in their 18th season opener as the San Antonio Rampage rallied for a 3-2 shootout victory on Saturday night at AT&T Center.
The Rampage (1-0-0-0) converted on 2 of their 4 shootout opportunities while the Wolves (0-0-0-1) couldn’t find the back of the net on any of their four chances.
Haydar set up Kevin Doell in the first period and rookie Darren Archibald in the second period to give the Wolves a 2-1 lead midway through the second period of their 11th American Hockey League opener.
Eddie Lack, the AHL’s 2011 all-rookie goaltender, posted 31 saves in his Wolves debut, which doubled as the AHL coaching debut for Craig MacTavish.
San Antonio scored 27 seconds into the game when Nolan Yonkman’s long wrister into traffic ricocheted off Branden Kearns into the net.
The Wolves killed off three first-period penalties — including a two-minute stretch when the Rampage enjoyed a 5-on-3 advantage — to set the stage for veteran Doell’s equalizer 19.2 seconds before the end of the first period.
Haydar set up Doell close to the net, but San Antonio starting goaltender Manny Legace blocked Doell’s first blast. Doell kept charging toward the net, picked up the rebound and flicked it home. Haydar and Michael Davies earned assists on the play.
Haydar’s vision set up the Wolves second goal as well. Working on the power play midway through the second period, Haydar backhanded a pass from the side boards to Archibald in front of Rampage backup goalie Brian Foster. Archibald, a 21-year-old left winger playing in his first AHL game, tipped the pass past Foster for his first career goal on his first shot.
The Wolves 2-1 lead lasted less than six minutes as San Antonio tied the game on Jonathan Hazen’s point-blank wrist shot at the 16:36 mark of the second period.