ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Chicago Wolves scored four goals in the third period — including a pair from right wing Ty Rattie — to top the Charlotte Checkers 5-1 in Calder Cup Playoffs action on Tuesday night at Allstate Arena.
With the victory, the Wolves (2-2) forced Game 5 in the best-of-five Central Division Semifinals. The contest will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Allstate Arena. The winner of the game will face either the Grand Rapids Griffins or the Milwaukee Admirals in the Central Division Finals.
Defensemen Jake Walman and Jordan Schmaltz snapped a 1-1 tie with goals early in the third period. Rattie added an empty-net goal and a power-play goal in the final three minutes while goaltender Ville Husso posted 26 saves to earn the win.
“It’s a new day tomorrow,” said Wolves head coach Craig Berube. “We get to start over. We’ll battle no matter what. I have confidence in our group. We’ll always battle.”
For the third time in the series, Charlotte struck first. Trevor Carrick took a shot from the right point that Lucas Wallmark redirected from the same-side circle that found its way past Husso (2-1-1) for the 1-0 lead just 1:51 into the contest.
At 12:19 of the frame, the Wolves evened the game when a Charlotte clearing attempt bounced right to Andrew Agozzino for a one-touch pass to Kenny Agostino high in the slot. Agostino elected to pass to Agozzino rushing to the left of the net, and he fed a chance through the crease that rookie forward Samuel Blais backhanded while standing to the right of the net.
The Wolves hopped out to a 2-1 lead early in the third period when Vince Dunn, at the right point, fed the puck to Walman, rushing into the zone on the opposite wing. Walman snapped a chance from the top of the left circle through traffic at 1:58 of the session.
Less than two minutes later, captain Chris Butler set up behind the Wolves net and flipped a short pass to Schmaltz at the right wall. Schmaltz carried through center and crossed over to the opposite wall in the offensive zone. He wristed a shot from near the outside hashmarks that snuck between Tom McCollum (2-2-0) and the near-side post to extend Chicago’s lead to two goals.
Down by two goals, Charlotte pulled McCollum with 3:51 to play. The move paid better dividends for the Wolves as Rattie netted his first goal of the series into the empty net.
Then, with Charlotte defenseman Jake Chelios in the box for slashing, Rattie registered his second goal of the game with 57 seconds on the clock for the Wolves’ fifth goal of the contest.
Checkers netminder McCollum made 29 saves in the loss.
The Wolves and Checkers face off in Game 5 on Wednesday at Allstate Arena. The victor moves on to the Central Division Finals to face the winner of the Grand Rapids-Milwaukee series. Grand Rapids leads the series 2-0 with Game 3 taking place at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Milwaukee.
For ticket information or updates on the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs, visit ChicagoWolves.com.