Wolves Nipped By Heat In Shootout, 3-2
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ROSEMONT, Ill. — The Chicago Wolves and Abbotsford battled into a shootout with the Heat grabbing the extra point with a 3-2 win Friday night at the Allstate Arena.
Right wing Mark Mancari was the lone Chicago skater to score in the shootout, while goaltender Eddie Lack stopped two of Abbotsford’s four attempts. Forward Tim Miller and defenseman Kevin Connauton each scored for the Wolves in regulation, while Ben Walter and Brendan Mikkelson scored for the Heat.
“We had a tough second period and it hurt us,” said Wolves head coach Craig MacTavish. “I thought we responded well in the third and overtime, but we couldn’t get one past their goaltender.”
Chicago (9-7-0-3) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 20 minutes of play. Miller opened scoring at 4:07 of the first when right wing Victor Oreskovich’s pass attempt was blocked, but Miller jumped on the loose puck and snapped a shot past Heat goaltender Leland Irving.
The Wolves doubled their lead to 2-0 on the power play when Mancari’s shot from the bottom of the near circle was kicked out by Irving, but the puck bounced right to Connauton and he flicked it into the empty net at 15:57 of the opening frame.
Irving (14-7-0) kicked out 28 of 30 shots in regulation and overtime and four of five attempts in the shootout.
Abbotsford (14-8-1-0) got on the scoreboard just 25 seconds into the middle period to cut the Wolves lead to 2-1. Center Krys Kolanos held the puck behind the net and fed it on the doorstep to Walter, who one-timed a shot past Lack.
The Heat tied the score 2-2 on the power play when defenseman Mikkelson wristed a shot from the blue line that beat a screened Lack at 10:45 of the second period. Just two seconds remained in the power play.
Lack (3-4-3) thwarted 30 shots in regulation and overtime.
The Wolves travel to Michigan for a meeting with the Grand Rapids Griffins at 6 p.m. Saturday at Van Andel Arena. The Wolves return home Sunday for a 4 p.m. rematch with Abbotsford.
First Period—1, Chicago, Miller 4 (Oreskovich, Sauve), 4:07; 2, Chicago, Connauton 7 (Mancari, Haydar), 15:57 pp. Penalties—Laing, Abbotsford (roughing), 4:14; Schroeder, Chicago (holding the stick), 4:14; Carson, Abbotsford (elbowing), 9:35; Laing, Abbotsford (holding), 15:30.
Second Period—3, Abbotsford, Walter 5 (Kolanos, Rheault), 0:25; 4, Abbotsford, Mikkelson 3 (Sylvester), 10:45 pp. Penalties—Reinprecht, Chicago (interference), 0:38; Sweatt, Chicago (holding), 8:47; Carson, Abbotsford (elbowing), 15:45.
Third Period—None. Penalties—Sauve, Chicago (interference), 12:47.
Overtime—None. Penalties—Kolanos, Abbotsford (tripping), 4:28.
Shootout—Abbotsford 2 (Walter, NG; Kolanos, G; Rheault, NG; Byron, G), Chicago 1 (Haydar, NG; Schroeder, NG; Mancari, G; Rodin, NG; Reinprecht, NG).
Shots on goal—Abbotsford: 12-13-6-1-1–33. Chicago: 10-6-11-3-30. Power plays—Abbotsford: 1-3. Chicago: 1-4. Goalies—Abbotsford, Irving (28-30). Chicago, Lack (30-32). A—3,614. Referee—Geno Binda. Linesmen—Peter Cichy and Mathieu Chenier.
(Courtesy of Chicago Wolves)