ROSEMONT, Ill.—Vasily Ponomarev had two goals and Mackenzie MacEachern added a goal and an assist to lead the Chicago Wolves to a 4-3 victory over the Cleveland Monsters on Saturday night at Allstate Arena.
Alex Green scored the game-winner as the defending Calder Cup champion Wolves ran their points streak to five games (4-0-0-1) and won for the fourth time in seven games against Cleveland this season.
“We’re having a lot of fun,” MacEachern said of the Wolves’ surge of late. “The start of the year was a lot of ups and downs and a lot of growing pains for a lot of the younger guys but they’re starting to get comfortable and settle in. There are a lot of smiles around the room so that’s always good.”
The Monsters got on the board first on a goal by Jake Christiansen midway through the opening period.
A short time later, Ponomarev evened the score at 1-1. The play started with MacEachern carrying the puck into the offensive zone, passing it Stromwall, who then found a streaking Ponomarev and the center beat Monsters goaltender Jet Greaves to the glove side.
The Wolves kept coming and took the lead on MacEachern’s power-play goal. The veteran forward was camped in front of the net and batted in a rebound of a Max Lajoie shot. Lajoie and Ryan Suzuki earned assists on MacEachern’s second goal of the season.
In the second, Ponomarev notched his second of the game with the Wolves holding another man advantage to extend the lead to 3-1. Ponomarev maneuvered into the Cleveland zone, skated right around a defender and went five-hole on Greaves. Anttoni Honka and Jack Drury picked up assists on Ponomarev’s team-leading 13th goal of the season.
Cleveland cut the Wolves’ lead to 3-2 on Josh Dunne’s goal late in the second frame.
Green’s first goal of the season gave the Wolves a 4-2 advantage midway through the third. The defenseman-turned-forward found the back of the net after taking a pass from Logan Lambdin and firing a one-timer by Greaves. Nathan Sucese also picked up an assist on the score.
Brett Gallant scored in the final minutes to pull the Monsters to within a goal but Wolves goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov shut the door the rest of the way.
Kochetkov (24 saves) earned the win for the Wolves while Greaves (21 saves) suffered the loss for Cleveland.
The Wolves improved to 19-22-3-2 while the Monsters dropped to 21-21-3-2.
Up next: The Wolves host the Cleveland Monsters on Sunday at Allstate Arena (3 p.m.; My50 Chicago, AHLTV). It will be Family Sunday, Presented by Scott Credit Union.
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.