They don’t ask how you won, they ask if you won.
The Chicago Wolves and Abbotsford Heat combined for just five goals in their two-game set this past weekend, but the Wolves were able to grind out two victories and now find themselves in third spot in the Midwest Division, seven points out of first.
Friday, January 11th – Chicago Wolves 3 Abbotsford Heat 1
Brett Sterling scored a natural hat-trick in the first period and Matt Climie made 26 saves, as the Chicago Wolves skated to a 3-1 victory over the Abbotsford Heat on Friday.
The win marked the second straight win for the Wolves and fourth victory over the Heat this season in six tries.
The Heat opened the scoring with a power-play marker just 4:05 into the opening period, but the Wolves responded with three unanswered goals, all off the stick of Sterling, to take a 3-1 lead after 20-minutes.
The middle stanza solved nothing, as the score remained 3-1 after two periods.
The two teams combined for 21 shots in the third period, but neither team could find the back of the net, as Climie continued to stand tall in the Wolves net to pick up his eighth win of the season.
Post Lockout Aftermath: The Wolves were missing Zack Kassian, Andrew Ebbett, Kevin Connauton, Jordan Schroeder and Chris Tanev, all of whom are skating in Vancouver in anticipation of Canucks training camp.
Injuries: Along with the five players mentioned above, Eddie Lack and Steve Pinizzotto are still nursing injuries and did not play, while Taylor Matson and Patrick Mullen are out for the rest of the season.
Polasek Debut: Adam Polasek was called up from Kalamazoo (ECHL) prior the game, and the Canucks prospect picked up one assist in his AHL season-debut.
Hatty: Sterling’s hat-trick brought his goal-total to 13 on the year, which leads the team by four. It also extended his points-streak to five games (nine points) and was his second consecutive game with three points. The hat trick was his first since March 14, 2007, which came in his rookie season; he had two, three-goal games that year.
Saturday, January 12th – Chicago Wolves 1 Abbotsford Heat 0
Andrew Gordon scored the lone-goal of the game and Matt Climie made 30 saves, as the Chicago Wolves defeated the Abbotsford Heat by a score of 1-0 on Saturday.
It was Climie’s second shutout of the season for the Wolves, who, with the victory have now won three games in a row.
Gordon opened the scoring with a power-play marker, his ninth goal of the season, with 55-seconds left in the first period.
Climie stood on his head in the middle stanza, making 11 saves, as the Wolves were outshot 11-1 in the frame.
The two teams couldn’t muster much in terms of scoring chances in the third period, combining for only 10 shots on goal.
Clim-ificant: Climie has been consistently-solid in goal for the Wolves this season, posting a 9-11 record with a 2.41 GAA and .921 SV%, to go along with two shutouts.
Drought-Ended: Bill Sweatt grabbed an assist on Gordon’s goal, snapping a five-game pointless-streak.
Making an Impact: The goal gave Archibald six goals in 11 games, including three power-play tallies since being called up from the Canucks ECHL affiliate, the Kalamazoo Wings.
Tough Times: This season hasn’t exactly gone the way it was supposed to for Anton Rodin, who has eight points in 26 games. The Stockholm, Sweden, native has now gone 11 games without registering a point, after picking up six points in four games to close out November.
The Wolves return home on Wednesday for a tilt against the Texas Stars (Dallas Stars, 22-11-3-2), in what will be the first meeting of the year between the clubs. After a day off on Thursday, the Wolves and Stars will face-off again at Allstate Arena in Chicago on Friday. The Wolves won’t have any time for rest, as they get right back into it on Saturday, with a home game against the Houston Aeros (Minnesota Wild, 18-13-4-3).
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