ROSEMONT, Ill. — The Chicago Wolves saw a two-goal third period lead evaporate, but left wing Brett Sterling and goaltender Matt Climie came through in the shootout to give the Wolves a 4-3 win over the Toronto Marlies Friday night at the Allstate Arena.
Sterling tallied twice in regulation and was the only skater on either team to score in the shootout during his first game back in Chicago’s lineup since Jan. 18. With the win, the Wolves (30-21-5-4) snapped a three-game winless skid.
“For a team that had a lot of new faces tonight, I think we really played a strong game,” said Wolves head coach Scott Arniel. “I really tip my hat to the new guys who played hard and Matty was outstanding in net.”
Chicago opened scoring just two minutes into the contest when defenseman Jeremie Blain’s shot from the far point was kicked out by Marlies goaltender Drew MacIntyre, but forward Michael Davies jumped on the rebound at the side of the net and hammered the puck home into an empty net.
The Wolves doubled their lead with a power-play marker at 4:17 of the second period. Left wing Darren Archibald snapped a shot from the slot that was stopped by MacIntyre, but he coughed up a rebound that Archibald collected. He slipped a pass to Sterling at the side of the net to set up his first of the night.
Toronto (35-20-2-5) cut the Wolves lead to 2-1 with a power-play marker of its own at 14:07. Defenseman Korbinian Holzer fired a shot from the near faceoff dot that Climie stopped, but the puck laid in the crease and right wing Spencer Abbott was left unmarked back door and he tapped home the puck.
Climie (17-18-3) delivered 31 saves in regulation and overtime and stopped all five shootout attempts.
Sterling’s second marker of the night came at 17:48 of the middle frame and re-established Chicago’s two-goal advantage as he redirected a Darren Haydar shot over MacIntyre’s glove.
MacIntyre (7-2-2) posted 24 saves in regulation and overtime and stopped four shootout tries.
Toronto forced extra time with two goals in the third period. The Marlies closed within 3-2 when right wing Greg Scott stripped a Wolves player at the Chicago blueline, broke in one-on-one with Climie and stick-handled around the netminder at 2:35.
The Marlies knotted the score at three when defenseman Morgan Rielly’s one-timer from the near point snuck through traffic and over Climie’s shoulder with 5:34 remaining in regulation.
The Wolves travel to Peoria for an Illinois Lottery Cup contest against the Rivermen at 7 p.m. Saturday at Carver Arena. They return home at 3 p.m Sunday for an Amtrak Rivalry game against Milwaukee.