Stefan Matteau and Paul Thompson scored 22 seconds apart in the third period to boost the Chicago Wolves 4-3 over the Bakersfield Condors Friday night at Rabobank Arena. The meeting was the first between the two teams.
In his 2017-18 debut with the Wolves (19-13-5-2), defenseman Vince Dunn scored and veteran forward Teemu Pulkkinen accounted for the fourth Chicago goal. Additionally, 2018 AHL All-Star Tomas Hyka registered three assists.
Former Wolves player Ty Rattie netted two of Bakersfield’s three goals in the contest.
The Condors (15-14-6-0) opened scoring just under eight minutes into the first period as Rattie netted his first goal against his former team. Defenseman Caleb Jones, up on the play around the Wolves net, fed a pass to Rattie out in the left circle for a wrist shot that found twine.
At 12:11 of the period — skating on the power play — the Wolves were able to counter and net the 1-1 equalizer. From high in the slot, Hyka put the puck on net and then Pulkkinen was able to throw it past Condors netminder Laurent Brossoit (1-1-0) in a net-front scrum. Initially waved off by officials, the play was reviewed and the goal awarded.
However just 1:08 later, Bakersfield gained the 2-1 lead as Braden Christoffer converted on a pass from Mitch Callahan.
Dunn blasted a point shot for his first AHL goal of the year and the 2-2 equalizing tally at 16:46 of the frame. Hyka earned his second assist of the night.
In the second period, the Condors netted a power-play goal of their own at 12:47. Cycling the puck, Iiro Pakarinen moved the puck along the left wall to Rattie at the same-side point. He rocketed a shot that found its way through a crowd and past Max Lagace (11-3-2) for the 3-2 go-ahead goal.
With 4:58 to play in the final frame — and with the man advantage — Pulkkinen put a shot on net from the center point. Through a scramble, Matteau poked the puck behind Brossoit to tie the game 3-3.
Just 22 seconds later, Mackenzie MacEachern dug the puck out of the right offensive corner and fed it to T.J. Tynan in the same-side circle. Tynan then pushed a pass to captain Thompson alone in the slot for a one-time shot to give the Wolves their first lead of the game.
Bakersfield pulled its goaltender with under a minute left in the contest but was unable to tie the game with the extra attacker.
Lagace made 30 saves for his 11th win of the season while Brossoit turned aside 32 shots in the loss.
The Wolves skate in Game 3 of their West Coast road trip against the Ontario Reign on Saturday, Jan. 13, at Citizens Business Bank Arena. Puck drop is set for 8 p.m. and the game will be televised on CW50.