Wolves rally, then fall to Checkers in overtime
The Chicago Wolves rallied from a 3-1 deficit to earn a point in the standings, but the Charlotte Checkers netted the game-winner in overtime en route to a 4-3 victory Thursday night at the Allstate Arena.
Andrew Gordon, Anton Rodin, and Darren Haydar scored for the Wolves, who have dropped back-to-back contests for the first time since Dec. 27 and 29.
"We started off great in the first, but then had some defensive breakdowns and found ourselves down 2-0," said Wolves coach Scott Arniel. "It was nice to come back and get a point, but Charlotte is a talented offensive team and we gave them time on the power play and they were able to score in overtime."
The Wolves (23-16-4-2) entered the third period trailing 3-2, but Haydar knotted the score with 1:50 remaining in regulation. Working off the power play, forward Nathan Longpre skated to the goal line and whipped a pass to the crease. Haydar's first shot was kicked out by goalie Justin Peters, but the Wolves captain scored on the rebound.
The Checkers (29-16-2-3) notched the game-winner 1:25 into the extra session when defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani faked a shot from the point, which froze the Wolves defense. Instead he slid a pass to left wing Chris Terry at the side of the net, and he beat goalie Matt Climie.
The Checkers had jumped out to a 2-0 lead, with both goals coming in a three-minute span in the first period. The first came at 8:36 when forward Brett Sutter walked into the slot. His shot was stopped by Climie, who couldn't control the rebound and forward Nicolas Blanchard poked the puck over the goal line.
The Checkers' second goal came after Climie played a dump-in behind his own net. Left wing Justin Soryal beat the Wolves to the puck and tucked it past a diving Climie at 11:42.
The Wolves cut their deficit to 2-1 with a power-play goal from Gordon at 5:10 of the second period. Defenseman Kevin Connauton's blast from the near point caught the back glass, and the puck bounced back toward the net. Gordon swatted it out of mid-air past Peters.
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