ROSEMONT, Ill. — Left wing Brett Sterling notched his sixth career hat trick to pace the Chicago Wolves to a 5-2 win over the Lake Erie Monsters Friday night at the Allstate Arena.
Forward Michael Davies (G, A) and right wing Darren Haydar (3A) also added multiple points for Chicago, which earned its second straight victory and maintained a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference standings.
“It was a real team game tonight,” said Wolves head coach Scott Arniel. “We stayed true to rolling four lines and I liked the fact that we were real good for the entire 60 minutes.”
With Chicago (32-23-5-4) leading 2-1 after 40 minutes of play, Sterling scored his first marker of the game 25 seconds into the third period. Haydar sprung Sterling into the zone and his shot was stopped by Lake Erie goaltender Sami Aittokallio, but the rebound stopped in the crease. Sterling pounced and smashed it into the back of the net.
Lake Erie (29-29-3-7) drew within one at 7:32 of the final frame when center Joey Hishon sent a pass through traffic in front of the net and defenseman Stefan Elliott snapped a shot past Chicago netminder Matt Climie.
Sterling bagged the final two markers of the game to close out scoring. His second tally of the night came on a one-timer from the high slot at 10:50 and he completed his hat trick by finishing off a breakaway at 17:13. Haydar assisted on both goals.
After a scoreless opening period, Chicago opened scoring with a power-play goal 1:19 into the second stanza. Davies drove the Monsters net from the near boards and was stripped in front of the crease, but he regained the puck and banged home a shot past Aittokallio.
Lake Erie knotted the game 1-1 at 9:08 of the second when Hishon’s pass attempt from behind the net hit off the post, then the back of Chicago netminder Matt Climie’s skate and over the goal line at 9:08.
The Wolves regained their one-goal lead when Vandermeer one-timed a shot from the far point that sailed over the glove of Aittokallio at 13:07.
Climie (19-19-3) stopped 26 shots to earn the win. Aittokallio (13-11-1) posted 22 saves.
The Wolves close out the month of March and their Spring Break homestand with an Amtrak Rivalry matchup against the Milwaukee Admirals at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Allstate Arena.
– Chicago Wolves