SAN ANTONIO, Texas – In a showdown between the top two teams in the AHL’s Western Conference, Danny Kristo’s goal 3:26 into overtime lifted the Chicago Wolves to a 4-3 victory over the San Antonio Rampage Friday night at AT&T Center.
Defenseman Jordan Schmaltz and forwards Yannick Veilleux and Jeremy Welsh also scored for the Central Division-leading Wolves (6-1-0-1), who forced overtime with 55 seconds left in regulation on Welsh’s goal.
Kristo delivered the game-winner during 3-on-3 overtime action. Captain Pat Cannone saucered a pass from the top of the left circle to Kristo, who skated to the right faceoff dot and rifled a shot past San Antonio goaltender Calvin Pickard.
San Antonio (5-0-3-0) opened the scoring at 16:20 of the first period as defenseman Maxim Noreau launched a blast from the right point that whizzed through traffic into the net.
The Rampage boosted their lead to 2-0 just 14 seconds into the second period as forward Borna Rendulic took a pass at center ice, scissored through the Wolves defense and tucked the puck past goaltender Jordan Binnington.
The Wolves cut the margin to 2-1 at 2:35 of the second on Schmaltz’s first goal as a professional. Kristo carried the puck into the offensive zone, sliced through the middle and fed Schmaltz near the bottom of the right circle for a quick flip. Ivan Barbashev also earned an assist on the play.
Chicago evened the score at 8:40 on Veilleux’s third goal of the season. Evan Trupp won a faceoff that led to Scooter Vaughan’s wrist shot from the top of the left circle. Veilleux crashed the slot, seized the rebound and backhanded it past Pickard.
San Antonio regained a 3-2 lead at 10:55 of the second with an odd-man rush that ended with Colin Smith’s quick blast from the slot.
The Wolves forced overtime with 55 seconds left in regulation as they pulled Binnington for an extra attacker. Barbashev flung the puck from the top of the right circle toward the net, then several Wolves crashed the crease and Welsh knocked the rebound past Pickard.
Binnington (4-0-1) stopped 37 of 40 shots during regulation and overtime. Pickard (5-0-3) posted 30 stops.
The Wolves’ next game is 4 p.m. Sunday at San Antonio. The team returns to Allstate Arena at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21, for Salute to Military Families Night, presented by Kia and Magellan. The Wolves then host Star Wars Day at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 22. To learn how to be part of the special pregame event featuring “Star Wars Rebels” star Taylor Gray, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
WOLVES 4, RAMPAGE 3 (OT)
Chicago 0 2 1 1 — 4
San Antonio 1 2 0 0 — 3
First Period—1, San Antonio, Noreau 2 (Labrie, Rantanen), 16:20 pp. Penalties—Maggio, San Antonio (elbowing), 11:44; Veilleux, Chicago (tripping), 15:10.
Second Period—2, San Antonio, Rendulic 1 (Bigras, Clark), 0:14; 3, Chicago, Schmaltz 1 (Kristo, Barbashev), 2:35; 4, Chicago, Veilleux 3 (Vaughan, Trupp); 8:40; 5, San Antonio, Smith 3 (Rendulic, Martinsen), 10:55. Penalties—Maggio, San Antonio (tripping), 12:21.
Third Period—6, Chicago, Welsh 3 (Barbashev, Harrold), 19:05. Penalties—Chicago (too many men, served by Beach), 0:47; Butler, Chicago (roughing), 3:31; Henley, San Antonio (roughing), 3:31; Beach, Chicago (interference), 6:12; Smith, San Antonio (roughing), 7:52.
Overtime—7, Chicago, Kristo 4 (Cannone, Lindbohm), 3:26. Penalties—None.
Shots on goal—Chicago 11-12-8-3—34; San Antonio 9-17-11-3—40. Power plays—Chicago 0-3; San Antonio 1-3. Goalies—Chicago, Binnington (37-40); San Antonio, Pickard (30-34). Referee—Garrett Rank. Linesmen—Fred Hudy and Mike Winslow.