A third period comeback insured the Chicago Wolves a valuable point in the standings this past week as the battle for first place in the AHL’s Midwest Division has gotten a little crowded.
Friday, November 16th – Peoria Rivermen 3 Chicago Wolves 2 (Shootout)
Guillaume Desbiens and Steve Pinizzotto scored third period goals for the Chicago Wolves, who were able to come back from a two-goal deficit to gain a single-point before dropping a 3-2 decision in a shootout to the Peoria Rivermen on Friday night.
The Rivermen opened the scoring 5:41 into the first period when Evgeny Grachev blasted a shot from the point that beat Wolves goaltender Eddie Lack blocker-side. Peoria added a power play goal early in the second period to take a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes.
The Wolves have struggled in third periods all season long, but on this night they found a way to get things done in the final 20 minutes. Desbiens was able to bat the puck out of the air and past Rivermen goaltender Jake Allen for his first goal of the season and just 25 seconds later Pinizzotto got his stick on a Kevin Connauton shot, deflecting the puck past Allen and knotting the score at 2-2 and sending the game to overtime.
With overtime winding down, Rivermen forward Phil McRae (son of former NHLer Basil, who also had a cameo in The Mighty Ducks) took the puck and cut behind the Wolves defensemen and deked Lack wide before putting the puck in the back of the net sealing the 3-2 win for the Rivermen.
-Connauton, Andrew Gordon and Mark Matheson picked up assists for the Wolves.
-Lack made 27 saves for the Wolves in the loss.
-The Wolves went 0-for-3 on the power play while the Rivermen finished 1-for-3.
-Zack Kassian and Jordan Schroeder led the way with five shots each for the Wolves.
-Connauton, Gordon, Matheson, Darren Haydar, Andrew Ebbett and Alex Mallet all finished plus-1.
-Wolves forward Alex Friesen took on Mark Cundari in a spirited-scrap in the second period.
-Three Stars: 1. PEO, McRae. 2. PEO, Cundari. 3. PEO, Allen.
Saturday, November 17th –Peoria Rivermen 3 Chicago Wolves 2
Steve Pinizzotto and Andrew Gordon both scored their fourth goals of the season on Saturday night, but that wasn’t enough as the Chicago Wolves dropped their second consecutive 3-2 decision to the Peoria Rivermen on Saturday night in Chicago.
Pinizzotto opened the scoring just 4:43 into the opening period, his second straight game with a goal and fourth goal in as many games. The Rivermen would respond with two goals before the first period was complete, taking a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.
The Wolves evened things up in the middle stanza when Darren Haydar and Gordon were able to convert on a two-on-one as the Wolves captain sent a perfect pass to Gordon who was able to beat Rivermen goaltender Jake Allen.
The Rivermen would only muster four shots in the third period but they made good on one of them as Sergey Andronov was able to grab a rebound and beat Climie to give Peoria a 3-2 win.
-Haydar (x2), Brad Hunt and Andrew Ebbett picked up assists for the Wolves.
-Guillaume Desbiens squared off with Scott Ford in a third period fight.
-Zack Kassian and Kevin Connauton led the way for the Wolves with five shots apiece.
-Both the Wolves and Rivermen went 0-for-3 on the power play.
-Haydar (plus-2), Hunt, Ebbett and Alex Friesen were the only Wolves to finish with a positive plus/minus.
-Three Stars: 1. PEO, Sergey Andronov. 2. CHI, Haydar. 3. CHI, Pinizzotto.
A trio of big divisional games await the Wolves (7-5-2-0) this week. First up they will host the Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville, 6-7-1-0) at Allstate Arena on Tuesday night; the Admirals man-handled the Wolves 7-4 back on November 9th in Milwaukee. The Wolves then travel to Grand Rapids (Detroit, 8-4-1-1) for a tilt against the Griffins on Friday night; the Griffins edged the Wolves 3-2 in overtime in their lone meeting so far this season. On Saturday night the Wolves return home for another clash with the Admirals (Nashville, 6-7-1-0), rounding out a busy week of divisional games for the Wolves.
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