The Manitoba Moose recorded three first-period goals to set up a 5-1 victory over the Chicago Wolves Saturday night at Allstate Arena.
Defenseman Jalen Chatfield scored for the Wolves (5-2-0-0), who saw their five-game winning streak come to a close.
“They scored on the power play early and we couldn’t get to our game,” said Wolves head coach Ryan Warsofsky. “We just couldn’t find our game and we were chasing it all night.”
For the first time this season, the Wolves did not score the game’s first goal. Forward Kristian Vesalainen got the Moose on the board at 7:22 of the first when Wolves goaltender Eetu Makiniemi rejected Jeff Malott’s shot on the power play, but the rebound went directly to Vesalainen in the opposite circle for an open wrister.
The Moose (5-3-1-0) boosted their lead to 2-0 at 10:24 when a Wolves defenseman issued a pass to Manitoba’s Nicholas Jones in the slot. Jones had time to measure Makiniemi, then wristed it home. The count moved to 3-0 at 12:02 when defenseman Johnathan Kovacevic found an open spot in the left circle, accepted a pass from Ville Heinola and drove the net for a goal.
The Wolves started to chip away 1:07 into the second. Orland Park native David Gust raced down the left wing, hit the brakes at the half-wall and dished a short pass to Josh Leivo to set up a 2-on-1. Leivo flipped a pass across the slot to Chatfield, who chipped the puck over Desrosiers for his third goal of the year.
Manitoba flipped the momentum back its way when defenseman Jimmy Oligny scored with 6.7 seconds left in the second period to give the Moose a 4-1 lead. Cole Maier added an empty-net goal in the third.
Alex Lyon was scheduled to start in goal for the Wolves and went through warmups, but the Wolves had to switch to rookie Eetu Makiniemi moments before the lineup was introduced due to a goalie injury for the team’s NHL partner (the Carolina Hurricanes).
Makiniemi (3-1-0) notched 25 saves while Manitoba’s Philippe Desrosiers (1-0-0) stopped 22 shots to pick up the win in his season debut.
The Wolves return to Allstate Arena at 3 p.m. Sunday to host the Milwaukee Admirals on Papa John’s Family Sunday. To get the best tickets for any of the Wolves’ seven November home games, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.