The Chicago Wolves surrendered goals on Abbotsford's first 2 shots Sunday but turned things around for a 3-2 victory at the Allstate Arena that snapped a three-game winless streak.
Darren Haydar's power-play goal 57 seconds into the third period made the difference for the Wolves, who wrapped up the 2012 portion of their schedule with a 14-11-3-1 record. Andrew Ebbett and Jordan Schroeder also scored as part of Chicago's eighth consecutive 1-goal decision.
"It was unfortunate to have them score on their first 2 shots, but then we took it to them," Wolves coach Scott Arniel said. "We were all over them after that and guys got rewarded for doing things the right way."
Abbotsford (16-9-3-3) opened the scoring at 2:06 of the first period as the Wolves surrendered their first short-handed goal of the season. Chicago couldn't control the puck at the blue line, so Heat center Roman Horak took off on a breakaway and lifted a backhander over rookie goaltender Joe Cannata's right shoulder.
The Heat went up 2-0 while enjoying a two-man advantage at 11:02 of the first. Krys Kolanos passed it across the crease to Ben Walter, who got a stick on the puck and left it on the doorstep for Paul Byron to tap it home with a backhand.
The Wolves launched their rally on Ebbett's power-play goal at 17:39 of the first. Brad Hunt fed Ebbett for a one-timer from the right circle that whizzed over Abbotsford goaltender Barry Brust's glove. Haydar also earned an assist on the play.
Schroeder pulled the Wolves even during 4-on-4 action at 10:35 of the second period.
Defenseman Zach Miskovic fed Brett Sterling in the slot, but the puck deflected out to open ice near the top of the right circle. Schroeder took his time and rifled a shot over Brust's glove for his first goal since Nov. 28.
Haydar delivered the game-winner on a power play at 0:57 of the third period. Zack Kassian held the puck just to Brust's left and tried to whack the puck past him. Haydar caught the puck on the other side of the net, dropped it and whacked it home before Brust could get back into position. Ebbett also picked up an assist.
Cannata (1-0-0) stopped Abbotsford's final 14 shots to pick up the win in his season debut. Brust (8-4-1) posted 33 saves for the Heat.
The Wolves return to action Thursday with a 7 p.m. Amtrak Rivalry game at Milwaukee before hosting Grand Rapids on Saturday at 7 p.m.