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Pirri, Wolves roll to fifth straight win

Chicago 5 | Tucson 1
Pirri scores two more and Lagace makes 33 saves

Forward Brandon Pirri added a pair of goals to his league-leading points total, helping the Wolves to their fifth straight victory in a 5-1 win over Tucson on Sunday afternoon at Allstate Arena.

Forwards T.J. Tynan and Daniel Carr and defenseman Zach Whitecloud also scored for Chicago (15-9-2-1) while Max Lagace (7-5-1) earned the win with 33 saves. Pirri owns 7 goals and 8 assists in seven games this month and 16 goals and an American Hockey League-best 22 assists in 27 games for the season.

“His statistics are a reflection of how hard he’s competing every night,” said Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson. “He has taken the leadership role and he really wants to evolve that part of his game. That’s about coming to work every day, whether it’s in practices or a game.”

Brayden Burke scored the lone goal for Tucson (15-8-2-1) in the Wolves’ second win over the Roadrunners in 24 hours.

The Wolves opened the scoring at the 12:21 mark of the first period after forward Curtis McKenzie made his way to the back wall to battle for the puck. McKenzie centered the puck to Pirri, who slammed the pass over goaltender Merrick Madsen’s glove.

Pirri notched his second of the day midway through the second period, giving Chicago a 2-0 advantage. Tynan forced a blue-line turnover before sending a pass up to Pirri, who sniped his shot past Madsen at 11:37 for his league-leading 38th point of the year.

Tynan kept the momentum going into the third, scoring just 26 seconds into the period. Tynan intercepted a pass between the Roadrunners’ defense just below the Tucson blue line and sent a shot off the right post and in for a 3-0 lead.

Carr added to the Wolves lead just after the midpoint of the final period, scoring his 13th goal of the season at 10:06. Carr sent a breakout pass up to forward Marco Roy before charging into the Tucson zone. Roy drew the defense wide before slipping a pass to Carr waiting at the back door.

Burke took advantage of a Tucson power play, scoring at 12:53 with a one-timer from the right circle.

Whitecloud added his second goal of the year for extra insurance at 17:19 during four-on-four action.

Madsen (4-3-0) recorded 13 saves.

The Wolves return to Allstate Arena at 11 a.m. Tuesday for a School-Day showdown with the Texas Stars before hosting the Rockford IceHogs at 7 p.m. Friday in an Illinois Lottery Cup game.