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Wolves Remain In First With 4-1 Victory Over Aeros

Chicago Wolves players celebrate a first period goal against the Houston Aeros on March 25, 2012. (Credit: Ross Dettman/Chicago Wolves)

Chicago Wolves players celebrate a first period goal against the Houston Aeros on March 25, 2012. (Credit: Ross Dettman/Chicago Wolves)

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ROSEMONT, Ill. – Mark Mancari’s go-ahead power-play goal in the second period held up as the game-winner as the Chicago Wolves worked for a 4-1 win over Houston on Sunday afternoon before 9,516 fans at Allstate Arena.

The Wolves (37-25-2-3), who also received goals from right wing Darren Haydar, defenseman Yann Sauve, and left wing Bill Sweatt, maintained first place in the Midwest Division and third place in the Western Conference. Matt Climie stopped 20 shots to run his winning streak to three games.

“It looked like we learned from some of our shortcomings we experienced last night,” said Wolves head coach Craig MacTavish. “We didn’t give them a lot in the third and we made sure we got two points.”

The Aeros (32-23-3-9) posted the game’s first goal at 5:16 of the first period. Houston center Jeff Taffe pocketed his 17th goal of the year when linemate Jon DiSalvatore set him up from behind the net for a close-range blast.

Haydar’s slick slapshot evened the game 1-1 at 15:02 of the first. Haydar faked a slapshot from the top of the left circle, which got an Aeros defender to drop to the ice. Haydar then skated toward the middle and unleashed a shot that whizzed through heavy traffic past goaltender Scott Greenham. Nolan Baumgartner and Kevin Connauton earned assists on the play.

Mancari made Houston pay for having too many men on the ice to give Chicago a 2-1 lead at 5:27 of the second. Mancari’s wrister from the top of the left circle — his team-high 27th goal of the year — was set up by passes from Haydar and Tim Miller.

Sauve pushed the margin to 3-1 at the 3:47 mark of the third when he flew into the offensive zone and beat Greenham high with a wrister from the left circle. Jordan Schroeder picked up an assist.

Sweatt clinched the game with an empty-net goal with 27 seconds to play as Schroeder registered his second assist of the game.

Climie (19-9-0) has allowed just three goals during his last three starts. Greenham (0-2-0) notched 28 saves in the loss.

The Wolves hit the road for a seven-game trip that begins Thursday at Abbotsford. They return home on April 14 for an Amtrak Rivalry game with Milwaukee. For ticket information, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.

Houston 1 0 0 — 1
Chicago 1 1 2 — 4

First Period—1, Houston, Taffe 17 (DiSalvatore, McIntyre), 5:16; 2, Chicago, Haydar 17 (Baumgartner, Connauton), 15:02. Penalties—Clackson, Chicago (interference), 6:25; Foucault, Houston (holding), 6:25; Hunt, Chicago (interference), 8:12.

Second Period—3, Chicago, Mancari 27 (Haydar, Miller), 5:27. Penalties—Houston (too many men on the ice; served by Palmieri), 4:04; Roussel, Chicago (tripping), 11:44; Roussel, Chicago (holding), 17:38; Fredheim, Houston (interference, unsportsmanlike conduct), 18:56.

Third Period—4, Chicago, Sauve 3 (Schroeder), 3:47; 5, Chicago, Sweatt 13 (Schroeder), 19:33 en. Penalties—DiSalvatore, Houston (hooking), 4:52; Baumgartner, Chicago (cross-checking), 12:54.

Shots on goal—Houston: 8-9-4—21; Chicago: 10-12-10—32. Power plays—Houston 0-4; Chicago 1-4. Goalies—Houston, Greenham (28-31); Chicago, Climie (20-21). A—9,516. Referees—Nick Krebsbach and T.J. Luxmore. Linesmen—Matt Tyree and Jake Brenk.