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Shorthanded Wolves salvage one point in Winnipeg

Manitoba 3 | Chicago 2
Dansk posts 34 saves and Cotter scores late in regulation to force overtime

Defenseman Leon Gawanke scored 50 seconds into overtime to give the Manitoba Moose a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Wolves on Saturday afternoon at Bell MTS Place.

Gawanke set up the game-winner by carrying the puck down the left wing with a 2-on-1 advantage. He faked a pass to Kristian Vesalainen on the right wing and deposited a shot in the corner of the net.

Forwards Tye McGinn and Paul Cotter scored in regulation for the Wolves (26-25-4-2), who rallied to force overtime on Cotter’s goal with 2:24 left in the third period.

Chicago played the game one skater short as veteran forward Brandon Pirri was held out of the lineup while waiting to be recalled by the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights.

McGinn gave the Wolves the initial lead when he knocked home a rebound at 14:23 of the first. McGinn swiped a pass in the defensive zone, carried the puck into the offensive zone and dropped it to Patrick Brown, who fired from the right faceoff dot. McGinn found the rebound on the other side of the crease and slid it home.

Manitoba (25-31-1-0) received three minutes, 59 seconds of consecutive power-play time late in the second period, but couldn’t crack Wolves goaltender Oscar Dansk despite firing three shots.

In fact, the Wolves enjoyed the best two scoring chances while short-handed during that stretch as Brown was robbed by goaltender Mikhail Berdin’s glove – then rookie center Jake Leschyshyn blocked a shot from the point, chased it down and outraced two Moose to launch a wrister that went just wide.

Manitoba pulled even eight seconds into the third period on Kristian Reichel’s 11th goal of the year. The Moose won the faceoff, then Charles-David Beaudoin fed Reichel without a defender near him as he entered the Wolves zone. Dansk got a piece of Reichel’s top-shelf chip, but it carried into the back of the net for a 1-1 knot.

The Moose seized their first lead at 5:15 of the third when Seth Griffith spied JC Lipon across the crease and sauced a pass through a tight space. Lipon one-timed it home from the bottom of the left faceoff circle to give the hosts a 2-1 edge.

The Wolves earned a 5-on-3 power play chance midway through the third period and held the puck in the offensive zone for nearly three consecutive minutes, but only put two shots on net along with defenseman Nic Hague’s one-timer that banged off the post.

Chicago forged a tie with 2:24 left in regulation thanks to a bit of help from the Moose. Cotter whistled a wrister that Berdin stopped, but couldn’t control. As Berdin looked around for the puck, it came loose between his skates. When Leschyshyn and Cotter crashed the crease, Berdin kicked the puck across the goal line to make it 2-2. The officials viewed the replay to confirm the call.

Dansk (18-11-3) posted 34 saves while Berdin (20-20-1) stopped 20 shots to pick up the victory.

The Wolves face Manitoba at 2 p.m. Sunday before returning to Allstate Arena for a six-game homestand that runs from Thursday, March 5, to Sunday, March 15.\