Rookie forward Tyler Angle scored on a 2-on-0 breakaway 4:05 into overtime to give the Cleveland Monsters a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Wolves and cap a riveting contest between the American Hockey League’s top two offenses Saturday afternoon at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Rookie forwards Phil Tomasino, Zach Solow and Cole Smith and defenseman Josh Healey scored for the Wolves (15-4-1-2), who rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the third period to force extra time for the third game in a row.
Chicago continues to hold an 8-point lead over Cleveland and the Grand Rapids Griffins in the AHL’s Central Division with three weeks remaining in the regular season.
For the eighth game in a row, the Wolves surrendered the first goal. Angle got a step ahead of the defense and scored on a breakaway to give the Monsters (12-7-1-0) a 1-0 lead 4:54 into the game.
Tomasino waited just 52 seconds to answer on the Wolves’ behalf. He led a 2-on-1 rush down the left wing and fired a shot stopped by goaltender Daniil Tarasov, but he calmly claimed the rebound and flipped it home to make it 1-1 at 5:46.
Solow, playing in his second professional game, pulled the Wolves into a 2-2 tie at 11:41 of the second when defenseman David Warsofsky sent him a stretch pass that sent Solow into the offensive zone with momentum. Solow sized up Tarasov and placed a wrister in the top right corner for his first pro goal.
The Monsters regained a 3-2 lead with 21 ticks left in the second when Tyler Sikura accepted a pass on the odd-man rush and slid a shot past Wolves goaltender Beck Warm.
Sikura added a power-play goal 2:34 into the third period to earn the game’s first two-goal advantage, but Healey answered with a wrister from the left point that sneaked through heavy traffic to cut Chicago’s deficit to 4-3 at the 9:01 mark.
Smith gave the Wolves new life when he collected a Cavan Fitzgerald passalong the side wall and snaked a wrist shot between Tarasov’s skates to make the score 4-4 with 7:51 remaining in regulation.
During 3-on-3 play in overtime, both teams took turns making end-to-end dashes that ended either in sparkling saves or shots off the iron. Finally, the Monsters stopped a Wolves rush that turned into a two-man breakaway against Wolves goaltender Beck Warm. Angle and Liam Foudy exchanged passes before Angle nudged the puck into the open net.
Warm (5-2-1) and Tarasov (3-1-0) each notched 32 saves for the game.
The Wolves stay in Cleveland for another 3 p.m. clash Sunday before heading to Grand Rapids for a 6 p.m. contest Monday. Chicago’s next game at the Wolves Training Facility comes 7 p.m. Friday against the Iowa Wild.