ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Chicago Wolves gave up 3 goals in the opening 22 minutes and couldn’t catch up as the Wolves dropped a 4-2 decision to the Lake Erie Monsters on Saturday night at Allstate Arena. Forwards Evan Trupp and Pat Cannone scored for the Wolves (17-17-1-2), who saw their three-game home winning streak come to a close.
“It’s really hard to get a flow to your game when you’re not passing well,” said Wolves head coach John Anderson. “We had chances, but their goalie played well when he had to. A bounce here and there could have changed the game.”
Lake Erie (20-13-3-3) opened the scoring at 11:52 of the first after a quick exchange between defenseman John Ramage and left wing Brett Gallant. Ramage received Gallant’s return pass in the slot and quickly placed it past goaltender Pheonix Copley.
The Monsters added Eric Roy’s power-play goal just 1:13 later. Alex Broadhurst whistled a pass from the right circle to the left circle for Roy, who fired a riser through traffic for a 2-0 lead at the 13:05 mark.
Lake Erie boosted its lead to 3-0 at 1:41 of the second period on Oliver Bjorkstrand’s power-play blast from the left circle as Broadhurst picked up his third assist of the night.
The Wolves sliced the margin to 3-1 on Trupp’s unassisted goal at 10:54. A Lake Erie slap shot from the left circle banged hard off the back wall and skidded all the way beyond the red line to Trupp, who carried it in on a breakaway and beat Monsters goalie Anton Forsberg between his skates.
The Monsters rebuilt their 3-goal lead on Derek DeBlois’ one-timer from the left circle at 12:33 of the second. That’s when Anderson opted to bring in backup goaltender Niklas Lundstrom for his first Wolves action this season.
Chicago pulled within 4-2 on Cannone’s tally 7:36 into the third. As Ivan Barbashev handled the puck below the goal line, Cannone fought his way toward the crease, accepted Barbashev’s pass and shoved the puck past Forsberg with a defenseman draped on him.
Anderson pulled Lundstrom in favor of an extra attacker late, but the Wolves could get no closer. Lundstrom finished with 11 saves while Copley (9-11-1) stopped 18 of 22 shots to take the loss. Forsberg (13-6-2) posted 31 saves to earn the win.
The Wolves embark on a five-game road trip that starts with a 3 p.m. game Sunday at Grand Rapids. Chicago returns home on Saturday, Jan. 30, to face the Rockford IceHogs in an Illinois Lottery Cup clash. To get the best deals on tickets, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
MONSTERS 4, WOLVES 2
Lake Erie 2 2 0 — 4
Chicago 0 1 1 — 2
First Period—1, Lake Erie, Ramage 3 (Gallant, Broadhurst), 11:52; 2, Lake Erie, Roy 1 (Broadhurst, Zaar), 13:05 pp. Penalties—Zaar, Lake Erie (hooking), 1:19; Barbashev, Chicago (holding), 12:49; Hayes, Chicago (interference), 13:13.
Second Period—3, Lake Erie, Bjorkstrand 4 (Broadhurst, Zaar), 1:41 pp; 4, Chicago, Trupp 3 (unassisted), 10:54; 5, Lake Erie, DeBlois 3 (Tynan, Vogelhuber), 12:33. Penalties—Schmaltz, Chicago (tripping), 0:39; Hayes, Chicago (slashing), 2:18; McCarthy, Lake Erie (roughing), 2:18; Broadhurst, Lake Erie (tripping), 5:28; Brace, Chicago (cross-checking), 13:08; Yevenko, Lake Erie (roughing), 13:08; Cannone, Chicago (tripping), 13:57; Devin, Lake Erie (hooking), 16:57.
Third Period—6, Chicago, Cannone 10 (Barbashev), 7:36. Penalties—Sifers, Lake Erie (holding), 3:37; Cannone, Chicago (interference), 3:41.
Shots on goal—Lake Erie 12-13-8—33; Chicago 8-9-16—33. Power plays—Lake Erie 2-5; Chicago 0-4. Goalies—Lake Erie, Forsberg (31-33); Chicago, Copley (18-22), replaced at 32:33 by Lundstrom (11-11). Referees—Cameron Voss and Pierre Lambert. Linesmen—Mike Anderson and William Hancock.