Matiss Kivlenieks rejected 42 shots to backstop the Cleveland Monsters to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Wolves on Saturday afternoon at the Wolves Training Facility in Hoffman Estates.
Rookie forward Dominik Bokk scored his first professional goal in North America to register the lone goal for the Wolves (8-2-0-1). Rookie goaltender Beck Warm (4-1-0), who signed an NHL contract with the Carolina Hurricanes earlier in the day, posted 31 saves and took his first pro loss.
Kivlenieks (3-0-0), coming off injured reserve with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, earned two wins over the Wolves in a 22-hour span as he stopped 78 of 82 attempts.
“Disappointing,” said Wolves head coach Ryan Warsofsky. “We had some stretches where we had some good energy and some good looks, but just not enough. You could see tonight that we were just a little off.”
The Monsters (4-3-1-0) opened the scoring at 10:57 of the first when Trey Fix-Wolansky spied Adam Helewka open at the far post and whistled a pass that Helewka redirected home.
Cleveland pushed its advantage to 2-0 at 12:40 of the first as rookie center Tyler Angle set up behind the net, found defenseman Dillon Simpson open on the doorstep and set him up for the tap-in.
The Wolves finally solved Kivlenieks with 2:16 left in the second. Elmhurst native Lukas Craggs flipped the puck through the neutral zone to Sean Malone, who zigzagged through the slot and drew all the attention. Malone then flipped a backhand pass to the back post for Bokk, who tapped it into the empty net to cut the lead to 2-1.
Cleveland rebuilt its two-goal margin at 4:24 of the third when Cliff Pu drew a faceoff back to Angle, who snapped a shot home with just six seconds left on the power play.
The Wolves travel to Des Moines to face the Iowa Wild at 6 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Chicago’s next home game is slated for Saturday, March 27, against the Rockford IceHogs.