The Chicago Wolves wrapped the regular season with a 3-1 loss to the Manitoba Moose Sunday at Allstate Arena.
Captain Paul Thompson registered Chicago’s only goal in the second period. Goaltender Oscar Dansk (13-3-4) made 27 saves as the Wolves rested several regulars to prepare for the Calder Cup Playoffs.
“We’re healthy, which is the most important thing,” said Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson. “Our roster is healthy and it’s good and it’s ready to go. We’re a dangerous team.”
The Moose (42-26-4-4) netted the game’s first goal with less than eight seconds to spare in the first frame. While defenseman Chris Casto served a high-sticking double minor, Patrice Cormier scored a picturesque goal for the 1-0 lead.
In the second period, it took the Wolves (42-23-7-4) just 4:20 to notch the equalizing tally. On the power play, Teemu Pulkkinen blasted a point shot that Eric Comrie (18-13-3) stopped, but Thompson was on the doorstep to slap in the rebound.
Manitoba nabbed the 2-1 go-ahead goal at 12:23 of the third session when Cam Maclise put a shot on net. The puck went over the top of Dansk and off the top of the net. It then fell straight down and Dansk backed himself — and the puck — across the goal line.
Jan Kostalek collected an empty-net goal with 1:09 on the clock for the 3-1 final score. Comrie stopped 23 saves for the victory.
The Wolves begin their quest for a fifth championship on Saturday, April 21, in Game 1 of the Central Division Semifinals against the Rockford IceHogs. The series marks the second time the Illinois rivals will meet in the postseason.