ROSEMONT, Ill. – Rookie defensemen Jordan Schmaltz produced the first two-goal performance of his career to pace the Chicago Wolves to a 5-2 victory over the Lake Erie Monsters on Sunday afternoon at Allstate Arena.
Forwards Jordan Caron and Zach O’Brien set the tone with first-period goals, defenseman Chris Butler added a third-period tally and goaltender Jordan Binnington posted 35 saves to earn his second win in two days for the Wolves (16-13-1-2).
“I think we played solid games,” said Wolves head coach John Anderson, whose team shut out Rockford 2-0 on Saturday. “To handle some upper-echelon teams back-to-back and get some wins is good for team morale.”
Caron opened the scoring at 5:12 of the first period with his ninth goal in his last 11 games. Defenseman Petteri Lindbohm steered the puck from the left point to the high slot for Caron, who wheeled and pinpointed a wrister past goaltender Joonas Korpisalo’s glove.
O’Brien gave the Wolves a 2-0 lead at 15:19 with a snap shot from the left circle. Scooter Vaughan collected the puck deep in the Wolves end, rushed into the neutral zone and dished the puck to O’Brien at the blue line. After Vaughan passed through Korpisalo’s line of sight, O’Brien zipped a shot into the top corner of the net.
Schmaltz pushed the lead to 3-0 at 8:59 of the second. Caron hit him in stride with a cross-ice pass and Schmaltz unloaded from just inside the right circle for his second goal of the season.
Lake Erie (17-12-2-2) snapped Binnington’s scoreless streak at 104 minutes, 34 seconds with Josh Anderson’s goal at 18:35 of the second. He spun away from a Wolves defender in the right circle and lofted a backhand shot while falling to the ice to pull the Monsters within 3-1.
Schmaltz answered with his second goal for a 4-1 lead at 6:54 of the third. Left wing Yannick Veilleux raced the puck up the left side and paused at the circle for a centering pass to Schmaltz, who flashed into the slot and steered the puck past Korpisalo for a 4-1 lead.
Butler made it 5-1 with a power-play goal at 9:45. Zack Torquato’s shot from the left circle set off a scramble that ended with Butler finding an open net with a backhand from the right circle.
Lake Erie responded with its own power-play goal at 12:22. Joe Devin ended an extended scrum just outside the crease with a tally that cut Chicago’s lead to 5-2.
Binnington improved his record to 8-5-2 while Korpisalo (5-6-2) posted 22 saves in the loss.
The Wolves hit the road for three games before returning to Allstate Arena on Friday, Jan. 15, to play the Iowa Wild and Saturday, Jan. 16, to face Lake Erie. To get the best deals on tickets, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
WOLVES 5, MONSTERS 2
Lake Erie 0 1 1 — 2
Chicago 2 1 2 — 5
First Period—1, Chicago, Caron 11 (Lindbohm, Rattie), 5:12; 2, Chicago, O’Brien 5 (Vaughan, Abeltshauser), 15:19. Penalties—Anderson, Lake Erie (high-sticking), 0:22; Chaput, Lake Erie (high-sticking), 0:46; DeBlois, Lake Erie (slashing), 6:55.
Second Period—3, Chicago, Schmaltz 2 (Caron, Lindbohm), 8:59; 4, Lake Erie, Anderson 9 (Tynan, Silers), 18:35. Penalties—Cannone, Chicago (hooking), 1:45; Tynan, Lake Erie (slashing), 9:55; Vaughan, Chicago (delay of game), 16:09.
Third Period—5, Chicago, Schmaltz 3 (Veilleux), 6:54; 6, Chicago, Butler 2 (Hayes, Torquato), 9:45 pp; 7, Lake Erie, Devin 3 (Rychel, Chaput), 12:22 pp. Penalties—Anderson, Lake Erie (cross-checking), 4:22; Ramage, Lake Erie (tripping), 7:46; Welsh, Chicago (hooking), 11:16; Cannone, Chicago (tripping), 12:47; Caron, Chicago (misconduct—unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:07.
Shots on goal—Lake Erie 12-12-13—37; Chicago 11-6-10—27. Power plays—Lake Erie 1-4; Chicago 1-6. Goalies—Lake Erie, Korpisalo (22-27); Chicago, Binnington (35-37). Referees—Mike Langin and Jamie Koharski. Linesmen—Ryan Daisy and Dan Dineen.