ROSEMONT, Ill.---Chicago Wolves left wing Nigel Dawes scored four goals to lead the Wolves to a 9-3 rout of the Toronto Marlies at the Allstate Arena Wednesday night.
Dawes’ four-goal performance was the first by a Wolves player since 1996, and just the third such instance in franchise history. The team’s nine goals set a season high, while forwards Riley Holzapfel (2G) and Darren Haydar (3A) and defensemen Mark Matheson (3A) and Jamie Sifers (2A) also contributed multiple-point performances for Chicago (21-16-2-1).
“They came at us pretty good at first and we weren’t ready to play,” said Wolves Head Coach Don Lever. “But then our skill came into play and that was the game. We can score enough goals, but we need to be better defensively.”
Toronto (17-15-0-6) jumped out to a 2-0 lead just 1:51 into the game. Center Nazem Kadri started things off when he drove into the Wolves zone, made a move around a defenseman and shoveled the puck past Chicago goaltender Drew MacIntyre.
The Marlies added a second tally 32 seconds later when center Christian Hanson carried the puck down the zone and behind the net before dishing it out to Josh Engel in front for a quick tap past MacIntyre.
Chicago pulled to 2-1 with a marker from Dawes at 5:10 when he took a pass from center Tim Stapleton while streaking down the slot and ripped a shot past Marlies netminder Jussi Rynnas.
The Wolves tied the score at two, 9:17 into the first period. Right wing Akim Aliu intercepted a Marlies clearing attempt, found Holzapfel alone in the slot and Holzapfel ripped a shot past Rynnas, five-hole.
Chicago took its first lead of the game, 3-2, at 9:36 of the second period. With each team skating with four aside, center Ryan Garbutt sprung out into the Marlies zone alone and cranked a shot past Rynnas from the right face-off circle.
The Wolves took a 4-2 advantage when Matheson worked the puck down to defenseman Paul Postma, who took a wrist shot which Dawes deflected out of the air and past Rynnas at 11:15 of the second period.
Chicago pulled to 5-2 after Haydar worked the puck out from the boards behind the net, sent it to left wing Andrew Kozek in the slot and Kozek fired a shot past Rynnas at 12:41 of the middle frame.
The Wolves padded their lead, 6-2, when center Jason Krog deflected Matheson’s shot from above the right face-off circle into the net at 14:35 of the middle period.
Dawes completed the hat trick with an empty-net tally after Toronto pulled Rynnas with just over 30 seconds remaining in the second period. Dawes gained control of the puck at the blue line and slid it down the ice into the vacant net to make the score 7-2 with four seconds remaining in the frame.
The Wolves bagged their eighth goal of the game at 3:24 of the third period when Haydar chipped a pass across the top of the crease to Holzapfel, who slapped it past goaltender Ben Scrivens, who replaced Rynnas at the start of the third period.
Scrivens made 11 saves in 20 minutes of action, while Rynnas (8-11-3) stopped 18 attempts in 40 minutes to take the loss.
Chicago set a season high with its ninth goal of the game and Dawes’ fourth when the forward stole the puck from a Marlies player near the Wolves’ blueline and broke down the ice alone, before ripping a shot past Scrivens.
Toronto responded 21 seconds later to make the score 9-3 when center Matt Caruana tipped a puck out of the air after MacIntyre made an initial save.
MacIntyre (4-3-0) posted 32 saves in collecting his fourth straight win.
The Wolves welcome the Hamilton Bulldogs to the Allstate Arena on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Toronto 2 0 1 -- 3
Chicago 2 5 2 -- 9
First Period---1, Toronto, Kadri 6 (Mueller), 1:18; 2, Toronto, Engel 7 (Hanson, Mikus), 1:51; 3, Chicago, Dawes 15 (Stapleton, Sifers), 5:10; 4, Chicago, Holzapfel 3 (Aliu), 9:17. Penalties---Kadri, Toronto (interference), 6:39; Deveaux, Chicago (interference), 12:19; Holzapfel, Chicago (hooking), 15:02.
Second Period---5, Chicago, Garbutt 8 (Sifers, Kulda), 9:36; 6, Chicago, Dawes 16 (Postma, Matheson), 11:15; 7, Chicago, Kozek 3 (Haydar, Valabik), 12:41; 8, Chicago, Krog 9 (Matheson, Siklenka), 14:35; 10, Chicago, Dawes 17 (Haydar), 19:56 en. Penalties---Valabik, Chicago (interference), 8:36; Lashoff, Toronto (high-sticking), 9:04; Richmond, Toronto (high-sticking), 14:56;
Third Period---10, Chicago, Holzapfel, 4 (Haydar, Matheson), 3:24 pp; 11, Chicago, Dawes 18 (unassisted), 5:44 sh; 12, Toronto, Caruana 1 (Cowan, Zigomanis), 6:25 pp. Penalties---Greenop, Toronto (slashing), 0:43; Richmond, Toronto (high-sticking, roughing), 1:33; Kulda, Chicago (double-minor high-sticking), 4:53; Valabik, Chicago (hooking), 10:03; Greenop, Toronto (roughing), 13:52; Zigomanis, Toronto (delay of game), 13:54.
Shots on goal---Toronto: 9-12-14--35. Chicago: 11-14-13--38. Power plays---Toronto: 1-6. Chicago: 1-8. Goalies---Toronto, Rynnas (18-24), replaced by Scrivens (11-13) at 40:00. Chicago, MacIntyre (32-35). A---3,575. Referee---Jarred Ragusin and David Banfield. Linesmen---Peter Cichy and Aaron Mills.