ROSEMONT, Ill.---The Chicago Wolves outshot the Oklahoma City Barons, 35-23, but couldn’t crack goaltender Martin Gerber until late in the third period and suffered an eventual 4-1 loss the Allstate Arena Wednesday night.
Right wing Spencer Machacek broke the scoreless drought for Chicago (4-3-1-0) at the 14-minute mark of the third period. The forward took a pass from center Jared Ross and flung a shot at Gerber from the right faceoff circle that beat the netminder, five hole. Gerber (4-4-0) turned aside 34 shots for the Barons.
Chicago goaltender Ondrej Pavelec stopped 19 shots in his return to action after suffering a fainting spell and concussion 2:25 into the Atlanta Thrashers’ season opener on Oct. 8. The netminder, who backstopped Chicago to the Calder Cup championship in 2008, was playing in his first American Hockey League game since April 3, 2009.
“We had two plays in the first period that pretty well cost us the game,” said Wolves Head Coach Don Lever. “You have to hand it to Gerber, he played a very good game.”
Oklahoma City (5-4-1-0) opened scoring midway through the first period. Left wing Alexandre Giroux carried the puck into the slot, evaded a Wolves defenseman and deposited a shot past Pavelec’s stick side at 10:30 of the first period.
Giroux added his second of the game on a breakaway at 13:12 of the first frame to give the Barons an early 2-0 lead.
Right wing Colin McDonald made the Barons’ lead 3-0 when left wing Linus Omark moved into the slot and slid a pass to him on the doorstep for a quick tap past Pavelec (0-1-0).
Left wing Liam Reddox added an empty-net tally for Oklahoma City with one second remaining in the game to round out scoring for the Barons.
The Wolves hit the ice at the Allstate Arena again on Thursday when they host the Texas Stars at 7 p.m.
Oklahoma City 2 1 1 -- 4
Chicago 0 0 1 -- 1
First Period---1, Oklahoma City, Giroux 5 (Plante, Chorney), 10:30; 2, Oklahoma City, Giroux 6 (Belle), 13:12 pp. Penalties---Vandevelde, Oklahoma City (holding), 6:44; Pettersson, Chicago (interference), 12:10; Omark, Oklahoma City (hooking), 16:05.
Second Period---3, Oklahoma City, Mcdonald 4 (Omark, Giroux), 8:56 pp. Penalties---Pettersson, Chicago (holding), 7:29; Aliu, Chicago (slashing), 17:33; Sifers, Chicago (tripping), 18:25.
Third Period---4, Chicago, Machacek 2 (Ross, Holzapfel), 14:00; 5, Oklahoma City, Reddox 5 (unassisted), 19:59 en. Penalties---Giroux, Oklahoma City (slashing), 8:59; Deveaux, Chicago (cross-checking), 14:30; Plante, Oklahoma City (interference), 14:55.
Shots on goal---Oklahoma City: 7-9-7--23. Chicago: 16-7-12--35. Power plays---Oklahoma City: 2-5. Chicago: 0-4. Goalies---Oklahoma City, Gerber (34-35). Chicago, Pavelec (19-22). A---3,230. Referee---Keith Kaval. Linesmen---Mike Hamilton and Al Stensland.