ROSEMONT, Ill.---The Chicago Wolves scored twice in the second period but couldn’t overcome an early 3-0 deficit and ultimately fell, 5-2, to the San Antonio Rampage at the Allstate Arena Wednesday night.
Centers Ryan Garbutt and Jared Ross posted goals for Chicago (13-14-1-0), while right wing Darren Haydar picked up two assists in the loss.
“We were a little sloppy early and fell behind 3-0, but we fought back in the second,” said Wolves Head Coach Don Lever. “They kept pressing and that’s why they are the best team in the conference right now.”
Matt Watkins gave San Antonio (19-6-1-0) a 1-0 lead, 10:31 into the game when he collected a rebound from the boards behind the net and whipped it past Wolves goaltender Peter Mannino before he had recovered from falling to make the initial save.
Brett MacLean made the Rampage lead two when he scooped up the puck after it slipped loose from Mannino and deposited it into the open net at 16:25 of the first frame.
San Antonio pulled ahead, 3-0, 56 seconds into the second period with the eventual game-winner when defenseman Maxim Goncharov threw a shot at the net from the top of the right circle that made its way through traffic and past Mannino.
Chicago responded 31 seconds later with a marker from Garbutt. Defenseman Mark Matheson took a shot from along the boards and Garbutt attempted to deflect it out of the air. Rampage goaltender Matt Climie was there, but the rebound bounced back out to Garbutt, who flicked it past Climie and into the net at 1:27.
The Wolves inched closer, 3-2, when Haydar and Ross broke out on a two-on-one. Haydar fed a pass to Ross in the slot, and the center moved in and fired it past Climie.
Climie (12-4-0) posted 24 saves on 26 shots in 40 minutes of action after relieving starter Al Montoya, who posted eight saves in 19:45 in net during the first period.
San Antonio iced the win with a goal from left wing Peter MacArthur late in the third period. The Wolves won a face-off in the offensive zone but lost control of the puck, which squirted out to Rampage center Bracken Kearns. Kearns and Petr Prucha worked it up the ice for MacArthur, who flung a shot past Mannino from the circle.
Mannino (8-5-0) made 22 saves in taking the loss for Chicago before left wing Mikkel Boedker finished San Antonio’s scoring with an empty-net tally with 27 seconds remaining in the game.
The Wolves head to British Columbia for a pair of games with the Abbotsford Heat this weekend, beginning on Friday at 9 p.m.
San Antonio 2 1 2 -- 5
Chicago 0 2 0 -- 2
First Period---1, San Antonio, Watkins 2 (Tikhonov, May), 10:31; 2, San MacLean 12 (Ebbett, Prucha), 16:25 pp. Penalties---Hollweg, San Antonio (goaltender interference), 0:21; Deveaux, Chicago (hooking), 5:27; Dawes, Chicago (goaltender interference), 14:43; Kulda, Chicago (hooking), 17:37.
Second Period---3, San Antonio, Goncharov 5 (Ebbett, Boedker), 0:56; 4, Chicago, Garbutt 4 (Matheson, Haydar), 1:27; 5, Chicago, Ross 9 (Haydar, Mannino), 7:27. Penalties---Stafford, San Antonio (interference), 7:51.
Third Period---6, San Antonio, MacArthur 3 (Kearns, Prucha), 14:52; 7, San Antonio, Boedker 7 (Ortmeyer), 19:33 en. Penalties---None.
Shots on goal---San Antonio: 13-5-9--27. Chicago: 8-11-15--34. Power plays---San Antonio: 1-3. Chicago: 0-2. Goalies---San Antonio, Montoya (8-8), replaced by Climie (24-26) at 20:00. Chicago, Mannino (22-26). A---3,320. Referee---Ian Croft and Fracis Charron. Linesmen---Dan Cohen and Mike Hamilton.