The Wolves faced off against the San Diego Gulls on Saturday night in a rare Allstate Arena appearance for the visitors.
Josh Melnick scored for the Wolves but the Gulls skated to a 4-1 victory in their first regular-season game in the Chicago area since the 2017-18 American Hockey League campaign.
“We took a couple of penalties early on that kind of slowed us down a little,” Melnick said. “We have to focus on our details a bit more all over the ice. We let up a little bit and it cost us.”
Jacob Perreault and Brayden Tracey each had a goal and an assist to help the Gulls hand the Wolves their third loss in a row.
San Diego opened the scoring in the first period when Perreault tallied with the Gulls on the power play.
After Tracey scored early in the second to put San Diego out in front 2-0, the Wolves finally struck back on Melnick’s goal.
The forward banged home a rebound of a Nathan Sucese shot past Gulls goaltender Calle Clang to cut the Wolves’ deficit to 2-1. In addition to Sucese, Domenick Fensore earned an assist on Melnick’s first goal of the season.
Late in the second, San Diego’s Andrew Agozzino found the back of the net to again give the Gulls a two-goal advantage.
Nathan Gaucher’s goal midway through the third extended San Diego’s lead to 4-1 and ended the scoring.
Keith Kinkaid made 26 saves but suffered the loss in goal for the Wolves while Clang (24 saves) earned the win for the Gulls.
“We hit a couple of posts and the puck didn’t go in the net for us,” Melnick said. “But we’re getting chances. We just have to work harder for those to go in and create even more chances. We have a resilient group and we just need to work on our details and come to the rink and put our heads down and work. It’s all we can do at this point.”
The Wolves dropped to 4-11-1-1 on the season while San Diego upped its record to 4-10-4-0.
Next up: The Wolves host the San Diego Gulls on Sunday (3 p.m.) at Allstate Arena. It will be a Family Sunday, presented by Scott Credit Union.
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.