CLEVELAND – Rookie wing Samuel Blais tallied two goals to help the Chicago Wolves topple the Cleveland Monsters 4-2 Thursday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
Chicago (25-15-3-2) netted two goals in the final 7:09 to break the tie. Wade Megan collected his team-leading 21st goal with the game-winning tally at 12:51 of the final frame, and all-star forward Kenny Agostino extended his league-leading point total to 57 with a pair of assists.
Rookie goaltender Ville Husso (6-5-0) made 23 saves in his sixth victory of the season.
Cleveland (19-17-1-3) opened scoring just 1:25 into the contest when Wolves alumnus Jaime Sifers redirected an Oliver Bjorkstrand shot past Husso.
The Wolves pulled even in the final six minutes of the first frame when Blais accepted a pass from Agostino and, from the slot, tucked a backhand shot under the crossbar over Cleveland goaltender Anton Forsberg’s shoulder.
In the middle session, veteran Brett Sterling gave Chicago its first lead of the game at 4:44. Andrew Agozzino slung a shot on net from above the right circle and Sterling deflected the shot while standing at the top of Forsberg’s crease.
The Monsters answered just 1:50 later when T.J. Tynan got between the Wolves defense and slipped a shot underneath Husso’s elbow for the tying marker.
The clubs traded chances in the first half of the third frame, and Megan finally broke the tie at 12:51. From the right offensive circle, defenseman Jordan Schmaltz threaded a pass through traffic in the slot to Agostino at the opposite dot. Agostino then saucered a pass to Megan flying into the slot for an easy tally.
Just 2:02 later on the rush, Blais chipped his second goal of the night over Forsberg’s left leg against the post to extend Chicago’s lead to 4-2 with 5:07 to play.
The squads reconvene on Saturday (Jan. 28) for the second game of the set at Quicken Loans Arena. Puck drop is 6 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on CW50.
Following the AHL All-Star Break, the Wolves return to Allstate Arena for a set of games against Central Division rivals. On Friday, Feb. 3, the Central Division-leading Grand Rapids Griffins are in town for a 7 p.m. tilt that will be broadcast on The U Too.
On Saturday, Feb. 4, the Rockford IceHogs visit for an Illinois Lottery Cup contest that features a postgame concert by Julianna Zobrist, presented by Judson University. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m., and the game will air on CW50. For ticket information or complete 2016-17 game and broadcast schedules, visit ChicagoWolves.com.