Bryce Gervais’ first goal of the year stopped a Cleveland Monsters rally and gave the Chicago Wolves a 5-3 victory Wednesday night at Allstate Arena.
Gervais scored at the 4:58 mark of the third to stop a run of three consecutive Monsters goals and earn the game-winning goal as the Wolves (16-12-5-2) extended their point streak to 12 games – two shy of the franchise record set in 2007 and equaled in 2010.
“I think (the Monsters) were running on adrenalin when they got that third goal,” said Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson. “That’s why Gervais’ goal was so important, because they had climbed such a hard situation playing last night in Rockford and then coming back from a three-goal deficit. When that (Gervais) goal went in, that was really a punch in the gut.”
Rookie forward Tomas Hyka produced one goal and two assists for Chicago while forwards Beau Bennett, T.J. Tynan and Tobias Lindberg added goals. Max Lagace (9-2-2) posted 21 saves to pick up the win.
The Wolves jumped to a 1-0 lead just 1:18 into the game. Brandon Pirri’s initial shot was rejected by Cleveland goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks, but the rebound ricocheted out to Jake Walman at the left point. Walman fired a shot that Hyka redirected past Kivlenieks.
Chicago pushed its margin to 2-0 at 3:40 of the first as the Wolves took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play. Defenseman Jason Garrison and Hyka worked the puck around to Bennett, who launched a one-timer from the left circle that solved Kivlenieks.
The Wolves seized a 3-0 lead 47 seconds into the second period as Hyka dropped a pass back to Tynan for a well-placed wrister in the top left corner. At that point, Cleveland head coach John Maddon replaced Kivlenieks with Ivan Kulbakov.
The Monsters answered with a pair of goals during the second – one by former Wolves forward Terry Broadhurst and the other a power-play tally by Zac Dalpe.
Cleveland pulled into a 3-3 tie on Sam Kurker’s first AHL goal at 2:24 of the third.
Kivlenieks finished with 12 saves on 15 shots while Kulbakov (0-4-0) stopped 12 of 14 attempts.
The Wolves return to Allstate Arena at 7 p.m. Friday to face the Central Division-leading Manitoba Moose. The game between the AHL’s hottest teams will be televised by The U Too.