19 February 2010

Sterling's Heroics Help Wolves Rally Past Rivermen, 4-3

The win was the sixth consecutive victory for Chicago (35-17-0-4), who hold a three-point lead for first place in the West Division.

The Wolves comeback started with 2:05 remaining in the third period. Sterling picked up the puck in the neutral zone and skated along the boards before streaking to the net and sneaking a shot past Rivermen goaltender Ben Bishop to tie things at three apiece.

Two minutes later, center Jason Krog skated through center ice and passed the puck to Johnny Pohl on the wing who saw Sterling streaking across the ice. Pohl found Sterling all alone in the slot, who ripped a shot past Bishop, stick-side, for the game-winning tally.

Aaron Palushaj opened the scoring for Peoria (24-24-1-5) at 6:26 of the first period. A Wolves defenseman fell down in front of the net and Palushaj picked up the loose puck, dragged it to his forehand around Wolves netminder Peter Mannino and deposited the puck into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.

Mannino (18-3-0) stopped 25 shots as he picked up his career-high 10th straight victory.

Chicago put itself on the scoreboard just 28 seconds later. Defenseman Chris Chelios took a shot from the point that right wing Joey Crabb redirected on net. Bishop made a kick save out to the far side of the net, where center Matt Anderson was waiting to knock the puck in and even the score.

Defenseman Jamie Hunt netted his first goal of the season to put the Wolves up, 2-1, 13:52 into the first period. Center Kevin Doell dished the puck off to Pohl, who skated through traffic before passing the puck to Hunt in the far circle where he one-timed the shot past Bishop.

Bishop (15-14-3) recorded 25 saves in the losing effort.

Peoria center Julian Talbot knotted things at two early in the second. Lars Eller skated to the net and took a shot at the doorstep, which Mannino stopped, but Talbot hacked at it until it slipped under Mannino’s pads and into the net at 1:01.

Center Derek Armstrong put the Rivermen up, 3-2, with a power-play tally at 5:32 of third period. Set up on the far side, Nicholas Drazenovic passed the puck through traffic in front of the net to Armstrong who one-timed a shot past Mannino, near-post.

The Wolves will honor longtime head coach John Anderson with “John Anderson Night” when they host the Houston Aeros at the Allstate Arena tomorrow night at 7 p.m.

Chicago 2 0 2 -- 4

Peoria 1 1 1 -- 3

First Period---1, Peoria, Palushaj 5 (unassisted), 6:26; 2, Chicago, Anderson 11 (Crabb, Chelios), 6:54; 3, Chicago, Hunt 1 (Pohl, Doell), 13:52. Penalties---Welch, Chicago (tripping), 8:10; Stastny, Peoria (interference), 15:18; Hunt, Chicago (fighting), 20:00; Paddock, Peoria (fighting), 20:00.

Second Period---4, Peoria, Talbot 14 (Eller), 1:01. Penalties---Doell, Chicago (slashing), 4:41; Sonne, Peoria (slashing), 7:09; Guenin, Peoria (cross-checking), 11:57; Fletcher, Peoria (interference), 17:51.

Third Period---5, Peoria, Armstrong 13 (Drazenovic, Stastny), 5:32 pp; 6, Chicago, Sterling 30 (Krog, Pohl), 17:55; 7, Chicago, Sterling 31 (Pohl, Krog), 19:54. Penalties---Sterling, Chicago (roughing), 4:37.

Shots on goal---Chicago: 11-9-9--29. Peoria: 7-13-8--28. Power plays---Chicago: 0-4. Peoria: 1-3. Goalies--Chicago, Mannino (25-28). Peoria, Bishop (25-29). A---3,762. Referee---Zac Weibe. Linesmen---Craig Kneale and Bryan Pancich.