In the teams’ first regular-season meeting since the 2017-18 campaign, the Wolves topped the San Diego Gulls 6-4 on Friday night in Southern California.
Chris Terry scored twice, Rocco Grimaldi had a goal and three assists, Cole Schneider a goal and an assist and Cavan Fitzgerald and Nathan Sucese also tallied to lift the Wolves to their third win in their last five games.
Vasily Ponomarev chipped in two assists as the Wolves extended the Gulls’ losing skid to 13 games.
Midway through the opening period, the Gulls were awarded a penalty shot and Ben King converted to put San Diego out in front. The goal came on the Gulls’ first shot of the game.
Terry’s power-play goal later in the first pulled the Wolves into a 1-1 tie. The veteran took a pass from Grimaldi and fired a one-timer from the bottom of the right circle that beat Gulls goaltender Calle Clang to the glove side. In addition to Grimaldi, Ponomarev earned an assist on Terry’s score.
The Wolves took a 2-1 advantage late in the first on a pretty give-and-go passing play between Schneider and Grimaldi. The forwards broke into the Gulls zone on a two-on-one break and Grimaldi finished the scoring play when he tapped in a feed from Schneider. The goal, assisted by Schneider and Ponomarev, was Grimaldi’s sixth of the season.
After San Diego’s Pavol Regenda found the back of the net midway through the second to even the score at 2-2, the Wolves struck right back.
Terry notched his second power-play score of the game when his blast from the point sailed past Clang, who was screened by the Wolves’ Max Comtois. Matt Donovan and Grimaldi were awarded assists on Terry’s team-leading seventh score of the season.
The lead was short-lived as the Gulls knotted the score at 3-3 on a goal by Olen Zellweger.
The Wolves caught a break late in the second period when Schneider’s centering pass was redirected by King into his own net. Grimaldi picked up his third assist—and fourth point—on Schneider’s third of the season.
Fitzgerald struck for his second goal of the season just 24 seconds later to give the Wolves a 5-3 lead. The defenseman’s wrist shot from the point eluded Clang to the glove side. Comtois and Josh Melnick had assists.
With the clock winding down in the second, Jacob Perreault’s goal pulled the Gulls to within 5-4.
In the third, Sucese banged home a rebound of a Tory Dello shot to extend the Wolves’ lead to 6-4. Dello and Cory Conacher had helpers on Sucese’s fourth goal of the season.
Keith Kinkaid (15 saves) earned the win in goal for the Wolves while Clang (18 saves) suffered the loss for the Gulls.
The Wolves improved to 4-8-1-1 on the season while San Diego fell to 2-10-3-0.
Next up: The Wolves travel to San Diego to face the Gulls on Saturday night (8 p.m.).
For information on Wolves ticket plans for the 2023-24 season—everything from single-game tickets to Flex Packs to group outings—visit chicagowolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.