ROSEMONT, Ill.—The Chicago Wolves saw a two-goal third-period lead evaporate, but were able to rebound in the shootout to close a four-game homestand with a 4-3 win over the Abbotsford Heat Wednesday night at the Allstate Arena.
Forwards Darren Haydar (2G) and Bill Sweatt scored in regulation, while Haydar and forwards Nathan Longpre and Michael Davies converted in the shootout. Wolves goaltenderMatt Climie stopped three of four attempts in the shootout.
“We started really slow tonight, but after the first 10 minutes we really took off,” said Wolves head coach Scott Arniel. “We played really fast and made them play in their end. We made a mistake at the end and they tied the score, but overall I liked our effort tonight.”
After a scoreless first period, Chicago (25-16-4-3) needed just 2:37 into the second frame to bag the game’s opening marker. Working on the power play, Haydar controlled the puck in the far circle and located Sweatt unmarked in the slot with a pass and Sweatt redirected the puck over Heat netminder Leland Irving’s glove.
The Wolves doubled their lead just more than three minutes later when Haydar and Sweatt entered the Heat zone on a two-on-one rush. Sweatt’s shot was stopped by Irving, but Haydar kicked the rebound to his stick and converted into the empty net at 5:57.
Abbotsford (26-20-3-5) posted its first tally of the night with 80 seconds remaining in the second period. Right wing Akim Aliu picked the pocket of a Wolves defender at the blue line and poked the puck into the zone where center Mitch Wahl streaked in alone and snapped a shot through Climie’s five-hole.
Climie (13-13-2) stopped 32 of 35 shots in regulation and overtime to pick up the win.
Chicago regained its two-goal lead 28 seconds into the third period when defenseman Mark Matheson’s shot from the high slot was turned away by Irving, but a scrum in the crease ensued and the puck bounced out to the side of the net where Haydar buried his second of the night.
Irving (2-3-2) posted 35 saves in regulation and overtime.
The Heat inched within 3-2 when defenseman Brett Carson fired a shot from the blue line and the puck hit off the shin pad of a Wolves defender on the way by and snuck past Climie’s outstretched leg at 3:28.
Abbotsford left wing Krys Kolanos knotted the game 3-3 when he received the puck behind the Wolves net and quickly tucked it between the post and Climie’s skate with 2:48 remaining in regulation.
The Wolves hit the road when they battle the Peoria Rivermen in an Illinois Lottery Cup contest at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, at Carver Arena.