TORONTO — The Chicago Wolves scored three times in the first period and held off a rally by the Toronto Marlies to earn a 3-2 victory Sunday night at Ricoh Coliseum.
Forwards Bill Sweatt and Michael Davies and defenseman Kevin Connauton scored for Chicago, which opened a two-point advantage over the Peoria Rivermen for first place in the Midwest Division with its win.
Chicago (35-24-2-3) opened scoring 1:27 after the game’s opening faceoff. Center Jordan Schroeder fired the puck to the net from the side of the goal and the puck deflected off a Marlies defenseman and Sweatt picked up the loose puck and wrapped it around Toronto goaltender Ben Scrivens.
The Wolves doubled their lead with a shorthanded strike at 16:13 of the opening frame. Left wing Mike Duco and right wing Darren Haydar skated into the Marlies zone on a two-on-one. Duco ripped a shot from the far circle that hit off the goal post and bounced to the near point where Connauton one-timed a shot past Scrivens.
Chicago bagged its third goal of the night just 1:24 later when Davies blocked a Marlies shot at the Toronto blue line and scooped up the loose puck, skated in on a one-on-one break and snapped a shot from the slot over the glove of Scrivens.
Scrivens (18-14-1) posted eight saves on 11 shots in 19:53 of action and was replaced by Jussi Rynnas at the start of the second period. Rynnas kicked out all 12 shots he faced in 38:48 of relief duty.
Toronto (36-22-4-3) got on the scoreboard with 2:56 remaining in the second period. Center Mike Zigomanis dropped a pass to forward Nazem Kadri in the near circle and Kadri backhanded a shot under the arm of Chicago goaltender Eddie Lack.
The Marlies cut Chicago’s advantage to one while on the power play 42 seconds into the third period. Center Philippe Dupuis attempted to center the puck from behind the net, but the puck bounced off the pad of Lack and back to Dupuis who tucked home the puck between the post and Lack’s skate.
Lack (18-17-3) recorded 20 saves.
The Wolves close their three-game road trip with a matchup against the Lake Erie Monsters at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 22 at Quicken Loans Arena.
Chicago 3 0 0 — 3
Toronto 0 1 1 — 2
First Period—1, Chicago, Sweatt 13 (Schroeder, Davies), 1:27; 2, Chicago, Connauton 12 (Duco), 16:13 sh; 3, Chicago, Davies 10 (unassisted), 17:37. Penalties—Gordon, Chicago (roughing), 5:26; Holzer, Toronto (holding), 9:12; Holzer, Toronto (cross-checking), 12:55; Bench, Chicago (too many men), 15:04; Roussel, Chicago (goaltender interference), 19:42.
Second Period—4, Toronto, Kadri 14 (Zigomanis), 17:04. Penalties—Blacker, Toronto (slashing), 2:02; Fraser, Toronto (boarding), 2:38; Scott, Toronto (holding), 14:19; Bench, Chicago (too many men), 17:41.
Third Period—5, Toronto, Dupuis 10 (Hamilton, Zigomanis), 0:42 pp. Penalties—Reinprecht, Chicago (hooking), 0:14; D’Amigo, Toronto (hooking), 2:05; Haydar, Chicago (high-sticking), 2:21; D’Amigo, Toronto (tripping), 10:22.
Shots on goal—Chicago: 11-8-4–23. Toronto: 8-8-6–22. Power plays—Chicago: 0-7. Toronto: 1-6. Goalies–Chicago, Lack (20-22). Toronto, Scrivens (8-11) replaced by Rynnas (12-12) at 20:00. A—6,740. Referee—Ryan Hersey and Dave Lewis. Linesmen—Kevin Ferguson and Matt Traub.