The Chicago Wolves pulled within one going in the final minutes of Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, but fell to the San Diego Gulls 3-2 Wednesday night at Pechanga Arena.
Forwards Tye McGinn and Curtis McKenzie scored for Chicago (8-6) while goaltender Oscar Dansk (7-5) stopped 26 shots as San Diego took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
“We had a good start,” said Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson. “Then they pushed back and I didn’t like how we finished the (first) period. We got some power plays and we executed poorly on them. It carried over into the second period and they were able to capitalize and score a short-handed goal, which is tough to recover from at times.”
Corey Tropp, Sam Steel and Trevor Murphy scored goals for San Diego (9-4) and netminder Kevin Boyle (3-0) recorded 21 saves.
McGinn put the Wolves on the board 1:35 into the game, slamming home a rebound on a shot from linemate Tomas Hyka.
The Gulls evened the game at 4:56 when Ben Street sent a floater in from the right point and Tropp tipped it past Dansk to tie things up.
Steel scored a short-handed goal for San Diego at 3:34 before Murphy made it a 3-1 game at 11:44 with a rocket from just inside the blue line.
With Dansk pulled for an extra attacker late in the third period, McKenzie scooped up the rebound from a Nic Hague shot and put it past Boyle at 16:30 to make it a 3-2 game.
The Wolves and Gulls meet for Game 4 at 9 p.m. Friday in San Diego. The game will be televised on NHL Network and streamed on AHLTV (TheAHL.com/AHLTV). If necessary, the series returns to Allstate Arena for Game 6 on Monday, May 27, and Game 7 on Wednesday, May 29.