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Lagesson Scores Teddy Bear Toss Goal, Wolves top Monsters 4-1

January 7, 2023

ROSEMONT, Ill.—William Lagesson sent teddy bears soaring to the ice during the Chicago Wolves’ 4-1 victory over the Cleveland Monsters on Saturday night at Allstate Arena.

Lagesson and Jack Drury each had goal and an assist while Zack Hayes and Ryan Suzuki also scored to help the Wolves earn a split of the back-to-back games between the teams this weekend. Josh Melnick added two assists and goaltender Zachary Sawchenko was solid in goal in the final game before the Wolves embark on a season-long, six-game road trip.

“It was a pretty complete effort,” Wolves coach Brock Sheahan said. “Zachary was really good in net again and you’re starting to see us generate and push the game consistently in our direction. We just have to keep building on it.”

Midway through the opening period, Lagesson scored his seventh goal of the season when the defenseman stepped into a shot from just inside the blue line off a pass from Josh Melnick and blew it past Cleveland goaltender Pavel Cajan to the glove side.

The goal brought an avalanche of teddy bears tossed to the ice by fans, with the stuffed animals to be donated to Chicago Wolves Charities.

“It’s for a good cause so it was fun scoring that goal for sure,” Lagesson said. “I remember someone mentioning it two or three days ago but I wasn’t thinking about it so it was a surprise when everyone started tossing them out there.”

It also marked the ninth time in the last 10 games that the Wolves have scored the first goal of the contest.

The Wolves weren’t done in the first as Suzuki found the back of the net with .3 seconds remaining on the clock. The center pounced on a loose puck between the circles, spun and fired a shot by Cajan’s glove for Suzuki’s fourth goal of the season.

In the second, Chicago took a 3-0 lead when Hayes finished off a pretty passing sequence. Tuukka Tieksola carried the puck into the offense zone and passed it to Vasily Ponomarev who then found a streaking Hayes. The defenseman then flipped in his second goal of the season from in close.

Late in the third, the Monsters’ Josh Dunne scored with an extra attacker on the ice but Drury capped the scoring with an empty-net goal for his third goal of the season.

“Going into the second and third periods we were just keeping it simple and playing direct and we got the W,” Suzuki said.

Sawchenko (39 saves) won for the second time in three games for the Wolves while Cajan (15 saves) suffered the loss for Cleveland.

The Wolves improved to 12-16-3-1 on the season while Cleveland fell to 13-15-1-2.

Up next: The Wolves will travel to Grand Rapids next Saturday to face the Griffins (6 p.m., AHLTV).

For information on Wolves ticket plans for the 2022-23 season — everything from single-game tickets to Flex Packs to group outings — visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.