ROSEMONT, Ill. – Rookie center Spencer Asuchak delivered the Chicago Wolves’ first hat trick of the season as the Wolves rolled to an 8-2 victory over the Manitoba Moose on Wednesday night at Allstate Arena. Forwards Jordan Caron, Ty Rattie, Yannick Veilleux and Pat Cannone and defenseman Andre Benoit added tallies for the Wolves (10-6-1-1). Asuchuk and Benoit led the way with 3 points apiece while Caron, Rattie, Veilleux, Benoit, Justin Hodgman (2A) and Jacob Doty (2A) notched two points apiece.
“I’m not saying it was a perfect game, but it was a game we sorely needed to feel good about ourselves,” said Wolves head coach John Anderson. “I’m so happy for Spencer. He’s a hard-working kid.”
The Wolves opened the scoring at 3:12 on Asuchak’s first goal with the team. Defenseman Petteri Lindbohm claimed the puck along the boards in the neutral zone, then Veilleux carried it into the zone and flipped a backhand pass to Asuchak. He skated into the left circle and snapped a shot over goaltender Eric Comrie’s glove.
Caron gave Chicago a 2-0 lead at 8:20 of the first. Rattie rushed the puck down the left side into the Manitoba zone and sent a backhand pass toward the right boards. Caron claimed it outside the right circle and wristed a riser that whizzed over Comrie’s shoulder.
Rattie boosted the lead to 3-0 just nine seconds before the end of the first period. With both teams boasting four skaters, Benoit zipped a pass from the Wolves zone to Rattie breaking to the opposite blue line. He shook off a defenseman, faked a shot and then placed it through Comrie’s five-hole for his team-leading eighth goal of the season.
Asuchak delivered his second goal at 7:52 of the second when he took up residence just outside of the crease and tipped Peter Harrold’s shot from the left circle between Comrie’s skates.
Manitoba (5-12-1-1) cut the margin to 4-1 on center John Albert’s blast from the left circle at 12:37 of the second.
The Wolves restored their 4-goal lead on Benoit’s goal from close range 1:20 into the third. Jeremy Welsh set it up with a centering pass from the right boards that led to the Wolves’ first shorthanded goal of the season.
Veilleux made it 6-1 at 4:39 when he pickpocketed a Manitoba player just outside of the crease and slid the puck between the left post and Comrie’s right skate.
Pheonix Copley (4-3-1) earned 35 saves to pick up his first win since Nov. 8. Comrie (3-5-1) notched 20 saves.
After a trip to Grand Rapids for a 6 p.m. game Friday, the Wolves return to Allstate Arena at 7 p.m. Saturday to face the Milwaukee Admirals in an Amtrak Rivalry battle. To learn about the Howliday Pack special that’s the best deal of the season, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
WOLVES 8, MOOSE 2
Manitoba 0 1 1 — 2
Chicago 3 1 4 — 8
First Period—1, Chicago, Asuchak 1 (Veilleux, Lindbohm), 3:12; 2, Chicago, Caron 3 (Rattie, Hodgman), 8:20; 3, Chicago, Rattie 8 (Benoit, Hodgman), 19:51. Penalties—Beach, Chicago (cross-checking), 5:18; Brassard, Manitoba (high-sticking), 11:10; Vaughan, Chicago (fighting), 14:05; Raffl, Manitoba (fighting), 14:05; Hodgman, Chicago (roughing), 14:05; Lipon, Manitoba (roughing), 14:05; Butler, Chicago (boarding), 14:13; Butler, Chicago (slashing), 18:29; Cormier, Manitoba (head contact), 19:22.
Second Period—4, Chicago, Asuchak 2 (Harrold, Doty), 7:52; 5, Manitoba, Albert 2 (Halischuk), 12:37. Penalties—Kostalek, Manitoba (slashing), 8:30; Rattie, Chicago (tripping), 10:12; Lindbohm, Chicago (roughing), 14:26.
Third Period—6, Chicago, Benoit 2 (Welsh, Caron), 1:20 sh; 7, Chicago, Veilleux 5 (unassisted), 4:39; 8, Chicago, Cannone (Benoit, Schmaltz), 16:39 pp; 9, Manitoba, De Leo 3 (Lipon, Cormier), 18:10 pp; 10, Chicago, Asuchuk 3 (Doty), 19:19. Penalties—Hayes, Chicago (slashing), 0:35; Beach, Chicago (charging), 6:46; Olsen, Manitoba (interference), 16:21; Hayes, Chicago (roughing), 17:47; Hayes, Chicago (unsportsmanlike conduct; 10-minute misconduct), 18:10.
Shots on goal—Manitoba 12-12-13—37; Chicago 15-3-10—28. Power plays—Manitoba 1-8; Chicago 1-4. Goalies—Manitoba, Comrie (20-28); Chicago, Copley (35-37). Referees—Stephen Reneau and Jake Brenk. Linesmen—John Grandt and Ryan Daisy.