Forward Alex Gallant made his first goal in a Chicago Wolves sweater count as his game-winner helped the Wolves earn a 3-1 victory over the San Antonio Rampage on Saturday night at Allstate Arena.
Forwards Daniel Carr and Brandon Pirri also scored for Chicago (21-12-3-1) while goaltender Max Lagace (9-6-2) saved 22 of 23 shots to help pull the Wolves within one point of the first-place Iowa Wild in the Central Division race.
“You should have heard our bench when (Gallant) did score,” said Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson. “It was awesome. They really care about each other and they really care about him. This (win) feels good. It was an emotional game tonight.”
Defenseman Mitch Reinke scored for San Antonio (17-18-1-0) while goaltender Jared Coreau (3-7-3) made 20 saves.
Carr started things off at the 13:02 mark of the first period, receiving a pass in the low slot from behind the net from linemate Brooks Macek and waiting a beat before roofing the puck over Coreau.
Gallant tallied the game-winner just 31 seconds later at 13:33 to give the Wolves a 2-0 lead. Gallant entered the Rampage zone with the puck and then sent a backhand pass to forward Tyler Wong before cutting toward the net. Wong sent a pass back to forward Stefan Matteau in the slot and, while Matteau’s shot was stopped, the rebound sat free in the crease for Gallant to tap in on his way past the paint.
Pirri put up an insurance goal 14:59 into the second period on a 5-on-3 power play, extending his point streak to match his career-best 10 games. He has produced 10 goals and 10 assists during the run.
Reinke cut into the lead at the 18:16 mark of the second, but the Wolves outlasted the surge to hold San Antonio scoreless for the rest of the contest.
The Wolves travel to Tucson on Friday and Saturday before returning to Allstate Arena to host the Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday, Jan. 16.