Brandon Pirri tallied three goals and Teemu Pulkkinen netted the game-winner 49 seconds into overtime to push the Chicago Wolves to a 4-3 victory against the league-leading Manitoba Moose Friday night at Allstate Arena.
“We were able to get a huge win for us,” said Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson. “There was obviously things we could learn from in the last five minutes of the game, but I thought our guys battled and competed extremely well and got rewarded in the end.”
The hat trick was the second of Pirri’s professional career while Pulkkinen netted his first goal in nine games to extend the Wolves’ point streak to 13 games, one shy of the franchise record.
Chicago (17-12-5-2) opened scoring at 9:42 of the first frame as Wade Megan won the draw and pushed the puck back to Jason Garrison at the left point. He fed a pass to Pirri floating near the center point for a power-play goal and the 1-0 lead.
Pirri again scored, this time on a penalty shot, with eight seconds left in the period to push the Wolves’ lead to 2-0.
With two minutes left in the second period, Buddy Robinson got behind the Chicago defense at the Manitoba (24-6-2-2) blue line and was away to the races. He beat Max Lagace (10-2-2) low on the glove side to cut the lead to 2-1.
Pirri completed his hat trick at 11:45 of the final session with Chicago again on the man advantage. After a face-off win, Garrison pushed the puck to the left circle for Hyka. His blast ricocheted into the right circle for Pirri’s one-timer.
Just under five minutes later with Manitoba goalie Michael Hutchinson pulled for an extra skater, Robinson netted his second goal of the night to pull the Moose back within a goal, 3-2.
Robinson completed his hat trick with two seconds left on the clock – and Megan serving a penalty for tripping – to send the game to overtime.
In the extra frame, Pulkkinen ended his goal drought for the 4-3 final score.
Lagace made 21 saves for his 10th victory of the season while Hutchinson (14-2-3) stopped 30 of 34 shots in the loss.
The Wolves continue action on Saturday, Jan. 6, against the Grand Rapids Griffins. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be televised on CW50.