ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Chicago Wolves couldn’t recreate their late-game magic from the previous night as they surrendered Game 2 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals 3-2 to the Rochester Americans on Saturday night at Blue Cross Arena.
Forward Nathan Longpre scored in the first period and center Keith Aucoin added a 5-on-3 power-play tally in the final frame for the Wolves. Goaltender Jake Allen (1-1) stopped 28 of 31 shots as Rochester evened the best-of-five series. Game 3 will be 7 p.m. Thursday at Allstate Arena with Game 4 at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The Wolves (1-1) carried the momentum from Friday night’s win into Saturday’s game as they opened the scoring at 18:45 in the first period. Defenseman Brent Regner took a hit at the blue line to keep play in the offensive zone for Dmitrij Jaskin to continue. The left wing sent a short pass to Longpre, who wristed it through traffic from the slot to go up 1-0.
The second period began with plenty of pressure from Rochester (1-1) and it paid off for the Americans as they knotted the score 1-1 on a goal from left wing Colton Gillies. Allen kicked out a shot but lost track of the puck in a crowded crease, allowing Gillies to sneak in and bury it in the gaping net at 6:14.
The rest of the frame was all Americans as they took the lead at 10:37. After a Wolves clearing attempt was intercepted, the Americans continued buzzing and defenseman Chad Ruhwedel pinched into the zone to score on a pass from behind the net by Gillies to make it 2-1.
Rochester extended its lead with a power-play marker early in the final frame to to earn its second 3-1 third-period lead of the series. A shot from the point hit traffic in front and Allen was able to make the save, but left wing Luke Adam swooped in to clean up the rebound at 4:07.
It appeared as if the Wolves might have a chance to complete another rally as Aucoin cashed in on a two-man-advantage at 16:38, beating overwhelmed goaltender Andrey Makarov as Chicago swarmed the crease. Jaskin and Ty Rattie earned assists on the play.
Makarov (1-1) kicked out 26 shots, including a flurry in the final minute, to earn his first postseason win.
The Wolves look to regain the series lead at Allstate Arena in Game 3 at 7 p.m. Thursday.
— Chicago Wolves