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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wolves make it 5; Defeat San Antonio 4-3 in Shootout

Make it five. The Chicago Wolves are perfect, still, this season, defeating the San Antonio Rampage at the AllState Arena in Rosemont in a shootout by a score of 4-3 Wednesday night. That leaves the Wolves with five consecutive victories this season, one of just two American Hockey League teams with a perfect record.

It was a hard fought victory as the Rampage, now coached by Greg Ireland, jumped to a lead late in the first period when Joey Tenute snuck the puck past Fred Brathwaite. It was the first time this season that an opposing team had scored the first goal against the Wolves.

The Wolves answered in the second period on the power play with a goal by Jordan LaVallee but a seesaw battle started as San Antonio winger Enver Lisin scored a go-ahead goal about two minutes later on their own power play.

In the third frame the Wolves Andre Deveaux was charged with goal tender interference after he collided with Rampage net minder David LeNeveu during a scoring attempt. When the Rampage weren’t able to capitalize on this, the Wolves were able to tie the game once more when defender Brian Sipotz scored his first goal of the year.

The Wolves went back on the defense just moments later as first blue liner Boris Valabik and then center Steve Martins were called for hooking, giving San Antonio a 5:3 advantage on the ice. Bill Thomas was able to take advantage of this, putting the Rampage in the lead again, with 2:23 remaining on the clock.

Wolves Coach John Anderson pulled Brathwaite from the net, putting a man advantage on the ice for the Wolves. They were able to tie with just 28 seconds remaining to play on a goal by Alexandre Giroux.

Both teams struggled to score in the sudden death overtime period with both Brathwaite and LeNeveu making outstanding stops. The shootout was the first this season for the Wolves. The Rampage LeNeveu had lost a shootout against the Houston Aeros last week.

Chicago took the lead in the shootout round with a goal scored by Jesse Schultz. However Keith Yandle tied the shootout and then Rampage center Joel Perrault put the Rampage ahead. Wolves winger Tomas Pospisil tied the teams again as the shootout headed into sudden death.

Ireland sent Matt Murley back for a second try on Brathwaite, which was deflected. Jason Krog, on his second shootout attempt put it past LeNeveu for the win.

“It’s a great feeling to score my first goal in such a big win,” Giroux said, “when you come to a new team you find yourself pressing a bit more to make that impact.” Giroux was awarded three points in the event, including the goal. The win was ninth consecutive win for the Wolves over the Rampage and also marks the 17th time the Wolves have gained at least a point against the Texans.

Chicago and San Antonio play again on Friday at the AllState Arena in a 7:30 P.M. game.

San Antonio 1 1 1 0 (0) -- 3
Chicago 0 1 2 0 (1) -- 4 Shootout

First Period---1, San Antonio, Tenute 4 (DiSalvatore, Roche), 17:41. Penalties---Martins, Chicago (hooking), 5:35; Murley, San Antonio (interference), 9:29; Gratton, San Antonio (cross-checking), 13:40; Meyer, San Antonio (hooking), 13:53; Martins, Chicago (hooking), 18:11.

Second Period---2, Chicago, LaVallee 3 (Kwiatkowski, Giroux), 15:34 pp; 3, San Antonio Lisin 3 (Tenute, DiSalvatore), 17:26 pp. Penalties---Thomas, San Antonio (hooking), 4:55; Oystrick, Chicago (tripping), 8:32; Meyer, San Antonio (roughing), 15:08; Stuart, Chicago (cross-checking), 16:07.

Third Period---4, Chicago, Sipotz 1 (Giroux, Pospisil), 10:55; 5, San Antonio, Thomas 3 (Tenute, Yandle), 17:37 pp; 6, Chicago, Giroux 1 (Krog, Oystrick), 19:32. Penalties---Deveaux, (goaltender interference), 1:31; Lisin, San Antonio (tripping), 3:07; Valabik, Chicago (hooking), 14:24; Martins, Chicago (hooking), 15:43.

Overtime---None. Penalties---None.

Shootout---San Antonio 2 (Roche, NG; Bell, NG; Murley, NG; Yandle, G; Perrault, G; Murley, NG). Chicago 3 (Krog, NG; Schultz, G; Giroux, NG; Doell, NG; Pospisil, G; Krog, G).

Shots on goal---San Antonio: 9-9-8-1-0--27. Chicago: 6-14-14-2-1-37. Power plays---San Antonio: 2-7. Chicago: 1-6. Goalies---San Antonio, LeNeveu (33-36). Chicago, Brathwaite (24-27). A---2,926. Referee---Chris Ciamaga. Linesmen---Bryan Pancich and Aaron Mills.

[Late edit: the Pavelec tour of the NHL continues with a Tuesday shootout win by the Atlanta Thrashers over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Although Pavelec was not in goal for the game, one of the four regulation goals was assisted by the Wolves line.

It is difficult to make a case for ever returning Darren Haydar under these conditions. Fortunately, the Chicago Wolves are winning without Haydar. Now if they take Krog...

There is another hockey team in Chicago. Tuesday, at the Chicago United Center they dropped one 4-7 against the Columbus Blue Jackets with three of the four goals scored by Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

It is very hard to make the case this year that the Blackhawks are Chicago's second minor league hockey team. Still, losing against the Blue Jackets, even one coached by Ken Hitchcock, must be galling to the Chicagoans.

Of course regular Chicagoans don't know about this yet because the team is still not broadcasting its home games. Rocky Wirtz has made moves to turn this around. However with television schedules set far in advance, the first game is not scheduled to occur till November 11.

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