ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Chicago Wolves unleashed a five-goal barrage in the first period and cruised to a 9-5 triumph over the Charlotte Checkers on Saturday night at Allstate Arena. Forwards Danny Kristo, Ty Rattie, Pat Cannone, Magnus Paajarvi and Ivan Barbashev each contributed 3 points — Barbashev the only one with 2 goals — while forward Jordan Caron and defensemen Scooter Vaughan and Andre Benoit notched the other goals for the Wolves (2-1-0-0).
“We talked about it before we came on the ice,” said Wolves head coach John Anderson. “Last night, we didn’t play very well in the first period, so I wanted them to bring it right away. We had a bit of jump. We gave up 5 goals, but I’d take 60 9-5 wins a year.”
The Wolves opened the scoring with Kristo’s goal exactly as a power play expired at 4:44 of the first. Paajarvi and Peter Harrold fed the puck to the end boards for Kristo, who darted toward the net and squeezed a quick backhand past Charlotte starter Rasmus Tirronen.
Charlotte (3-1-0-0) recovered quickly as former Wolves defenseman Jake Chelios elevated a blast past goaltender Jordan Binnington at 5:20 to make it 1-1.
Chicago regained the lead at 7:26 when Vaughan, making his Wolves debut, stepped into a shot in the high slot and knuckled the puck beyond Tirronen’s glove. Vaughan’s goal prompted Charlotte coach Mark Morris to insert goaltender Drew MacIntyre into the fray.
MacIntyre didn’t have much of a chance on Benoit’s power-play goal at 13:02 of the first that pushed the Wolves’ margin to 3-1. Cannone and Kristo executed quick passes and the puck skidded to the high slot to Benoit, who guided it through heavy traffic and MacIntyre as well.
Charlotte cut the lead to 3-2 at 15:09 as the Checkers took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play with defenseman Trevor Carrick’s blast from the right point.
The Wolves capped their first-period outburst with goals from Rattie and Cannone 53 seconds apart during 4-on-4 action. Rattie scored at 17:41 when Ivan Barbashev won a faceoff to set up Rattie’s wrister from the right circle, then Rattie set up Cannone in the slot for a one-timer that required video replay to confirm the goal.
Chicago picked up where it left off with Jordan Caron’s blast from the slot at 4:30 of the second. Rattie set him up to earn his third point of the night.
Paajarvi earned his goal when he crashed the net and tipped Konrad Abeltshauser’s snapper from the left point at 10:03. Kristo also picked up an assist for his third point while Charlotte replaced MacIntyre with Tirronen.
After Charlotte notched a pair of third-period goals, Barbashev delivered his first professional goal with a deft backhanded flip past Tirronen to make it 8-4 at 11:51. Barbashev didn’t wait long for his next one as he scored from the slot with 29 seconds to go to push the final margin to 9-5.
Binnington (2-0-0) rejected 23 of 28 shots for the win while MacIntyre (2-1-0) took the loss after posting 7 saves on 12 shots. Tirronen stopped 14 of 18.
The Wolves play their first road game 7 p.m. Friday at Rockford before returning to Allstate Arena at 3 p.m. Sunday for Breast Cancer Awareness Day, which benefits A Silver Lining Foundation and Chicago Wolves Charities. To purchase tickets or Stick It To Breast Cancer T-shirts, sweatshirts and pucks, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
WOLVES 9, CHECKERS 5
Charlotte 2 0 3 — 5
Chicago 5 2 2 — 9
First Period—1, Chicago, Kristo 2 (Harrold, Paajarvi), 4:44; 2, Charlotte, Chelios 1 (Tolchinsky, Ryan), 5:20; 3, Chicago, Vaughan 1 (Paajarvi, Cannone), 7:26; 4, Chicago, Benoit 1 (Kristo, Cannone) 13:02 pp; 5, Charlotte, Carrick 2 (Slavin, Tolchinsky), 15:09 pp; 6, Chicago, Rattie 4 (Barbashev), 17:41; 7, Chicago, Cannone 2 (Rattie, Schmaltz), 18:34. Penalties—Charlotte (too many men, served by Di Giuseppe), 2:44; Di Giuseppe, Charlotte (tripping), 11:11; Abeltshauser, Chicago (holding the stick), 13:44; Hodgman, Chicago (high-sticking, unsportsmanlike conduct), 14:39; Boychuk, Charlotte (tripping), 17:37.
Second Period—8, Chicago, Caron 1 (Rattie), 4:30; 9, Chicago, Paajarvi 2 (Abeltshauser, Kristo), 10:03. Penalties—Vaughan, Chicago (interference), 15:34.
Third Period—10, Charlotte, Carrick 3 (Sutter), 4:54; 11, Charlotte, Di Giuseppe 2 (Wohlberg, Carrick), 10:37; 12, Chicago, Barbashev 1 (Caron, Lindbohm), 11:51; 13, Charlotte, Ryan 3 (Boychuk, Carrick), 15:13. Penalties—None.
Shots on goal—Charlotte 11-6-11—28; Chicago 14-6-10—30. Power plays—Charlotte 1-4; Chicago 1-3. Goalies—Charlotte, Tirronen (10-14), replaced at 7:26 and returned at 30:03, MacIntyre (7-12); Chicago, Binnington (23-28). Referee—Garrett Rank. Linesmen—Mike Anderson and Ryan Daisy.