Hockey News: Wolves Rally nearly unseats Cleveland Monsters
The Chicago Wolves pitched a three-goal rally in the third period to force overtime, but fell to the Cleveland Monsters 4-3 in the extra session on Saturday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
Defensemen Erik Brännström and Jack Bischoff and forward Tomas Hyka all scored goals for Chicago (24-14-5-1) while goaltender Max Lagace (9-6-3) made 39 saves. By earning a point, the Wolves take 54 points into the AHL All-Star Break – just three behind Central Division-leading Grand Rapids.
Mark Letestu scored the overtime winner while Nathan Gerbe, Alex Broadhurst and Kole Sherwood also scored goals for Cleveland (21-17-4-1). Netminder Matiss Kivlenieks (4-2-1) saved 20 of 23 shots.
Cleveland led 2-0 heading into the third period after Gerbe scored at the 12:01 mark of the first period and Broadhurst doubled the lead in the second period at 9:00.
Just 33 seconds into the third period on a Wolves man-advantage, Brännström cut the lead when he skated down the center of the Cleveland zone and snuck a wrist shot past the blocker of Kivlenieks.
Sherwood regained the two-goal lead for Cleveland when he put a rebound past Lagace at the 3:25 mark, but Bischoff rifled a shot from the left circle through traffic and past Kivlenieks at 5:00 to put the Wolves back within reach.
Hyka sent the game into overtime, knotting the game 3-3 at 14:48. Hyka took advantage of some extra space during four-on-four action and raced up the right side of the Cleveland zone. He toe-dragged around a Monsters defenseman and faked a forehand shot on Kivlenieks before popping a backhand shot over the goaltender.
Letestu scored for Cleveland 42 seconds into overtime, skating past the crease and putting a rebound in for the 4-3 win.
After the AHL All-Star Classic on Sunday and Monday in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Wolves travel to Rockford on Friday before returning to Allstate Arena on Saturday, Feb, 2. For tickets to Brandon Pirri Bobblehead Night, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
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