Rookie defenseman Dylan Coghlan’s first professional goal capped a furious rally and gave the Chicago Wolves a 5-4 overtime victory over the Milwaukee Admirals in a battle of unbeatens Sunday afternoon at Allstate Arena.
Forwards T.J. Tynan, Daniel Carr and Curtis McKenzie scored in the third period to overcome a 3-1 deficit and force overtime for the Wolves (4-0-0-0), who are off to the third 4-0 start in the franchise’s 25-year history.
Coghlan and McKenzie each added two assists as head coach Rocky Thompson’s squad came through on Chicago Wolves Day – as proclaimed throughout the state by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.
“I didn’t really like our game tonight,” Thompson said. “But what I am impressed with is how our guys were able to battle back. They never gave up, especially after the fourth goal-against. ”
The Wolves took a 1-0 lead just 1:41 into the game on Reid Duke’s slick backhand in the slot. With the score knotted 1-1 late in the second period, Milwaukee (3-0-1-0) received a 5-on-3 power play and veteran forward Rocco Grimaldi took advantage with two power plays in a 23-second span to give the Admirals a 3-1 lead.
Chicago started its rally with Tynan’s goal 1:56 into the third, but Milwaukee’s Justin Kirkland swiped a pass and turned it into an insurance goal with 7:51 to play. The Admirals needed it because Carr produced a power-play goal with 6:03 left to slash the margin to 4-3.
The Wolves pulled goaltender Oscar Dansk with 2:25 to play and took advantage of the extra-man situation as McKenzie swatted home a Carr pass out of midair from just outside the crease with 1:53 left in regulation.
“We got ugly there and crashed the net,” Thompson said. “And then in overtime, anything can happen. Thank goodness we were able to get two points against a very good team.”
At the 2:56 mark of overtime, Duke’s pass set up Coghlan for the game-winning blast from the high slot and the entire team swarmed the 20-year-old from British Columbia along the boards.
Dansk (2-0-0) posted 23 saves to pick up the win. Milwaukee veteran Tom McCollum (1-0-1) turned away 15 shots.
The Wolves travel to Grand Rapids on Saturday before returning to Allstate Arena at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, against the Milwaukee Admirals for a Family Sunday game.