David Cotton got the Chicago Wolves on the board first, but the Toronto Marlies rallied to forge a 4-2 victory Sunday afternoon at Coca-Cola Coliseum.
Stefan Noesen added his league-leading 34th goal for the Wolves (36-11-5-5), who saw their 12-game point streak come to a close. Chicago, which holds a 13-point Central Division lead with 19 games to play, had not suffered a regulation loss since Feb. 15.
The Wolves outshot the Marlies by a 34-25 count — the 47th time in their 57 regular-season games they’ve won the shots battle.
Cotton gave the Wolves a 1-0 lead at 7:22 of the second. Max Lajoie whistled a shot from the left point that wound up below the goal line. Cotton collected the rebound and goaltender Keith Petruzelli blocked his first try with his right leg, but Cotton persevered and banked it off the same spot on the pad into the goal for his sixth goal of the year.
Toronto (28-21-3-1) responded with three goals in the next four minutes to build a 3-1 margin. Bobby McMann knocked home a rebound at 8:51 on the Marlies’ first power play of the day, then Antti Suomela’s nifty stickwork gave Toronto the lead at 9:43. McMann turned a turnover behind the net into an unassisted backhander at 11:55.
Toronto added an insurance goal with 8:41 to go when Nick Robertson picked the top right corner with a one-timer to give the Marlies a 4-1 lead.
Noesen delivered his 28th goal in his last 31 games with 2:05 remaining in regulation. Josh Leivo lobbed a centering pass from the top of the right circle that flew waist-high and Noesen redirected it for a power-play goal.
Petruzzelli (2-0-0) stopped 32 shots to win his second American Hockey League appearance. Wolves goaltender Jack LaFontaine (2-1-4) posted 21 saves in his first AHL regulation loss.
The Wolves return to Allstate Arena to host the Texas Stars at 7 p.m. Tuesday and the Manitoba Moose at 7 p.m. Friday. To join the fun on Tuesday’s Craft Beer Night or Friday’s $2 Beer Night, email a team representative at [email protected].