Sterling’s Natural Hat Trick Sparks Wolves To Win

ABBOTSFORD, BC—Brett Sterling needed less than 19 minutes to notch the first Chicago Wolves hat trick of the season as the Wolves topped the Abbotsford Heat 3-1 Friday night at Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.

Defenseman Brad Hunt contributed assists on Sterling’s first two goals while goaltender Matt Climie (8-11-1) stopped 26 of 27 shots to earn the win for the Wolves (16-12-3-2).

Sterling stole the spotlight, but it was the Heat that struck first. Forward Ben Walter lit the lamp 4:05 into the first period, beating Climie down low on the power play.

But Abbotsford (17-11-3-4) was on its heels for the remainder of the first frame. Sterling tied the score at 10:17 with a power-play strike of his own past Abbotsford goaltender Leland Irving. Hunt and Darren Haydar earned assists.

Minutes later at 12:21, Sterling was set up by solid defensive play and tipped a flying puck into Irving’s mesh as Hunt and defenseman Adam Polasek registered assists.

To complete the first natural hat trick of his career, Sterling backhanded a stray puck from the board behind Irving’s net and it slipped past the goaltender’s skate and into the mesh at 18:33.

Sterling recorded his first hat trick since Nov. 29, 2007. He owns five hat tricks in American Hockey League play — all with the Wolves.

Trailing 3-1 to open the second period, the Heat made a change between the pipes and called on Danny Taylor to replace Irving (2-3-1). He finished the night with 7 saves. Taylor stopped all 20 shots he faced.

— Chicago Wolves

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