The Chicago Wolves turned their 20th home opener into an ideal welcome-home party for veteran coach John Anderson as they earned a 3-1 victory over San Antonio on Saturday night at Allstate Arena.
Forwards Corey Locke, Ty Rattie and Mark Mancari delivered goals for the Wolves (2-1-0-0) while goaltender Jake Allen stopped 30 shots. Anderson, coaching his first home game since the Wolves captured the Calder Cup on June 10, 2008, received a loud ovation from the 9,824 in attendance as he walked along the boards toward the Wolves bench 10 minutes before the opening puck drop.
"Wins are always awesome," Anderson said. "We played a real tough team in San Antonio, so it was nice to beat a solid team and win one in front of our fans."
Locke, who scored the Wolves' first goal of the year during their season-opening win Oct. 4 at San Antonio, delivered the franchise's first home goal of the season at 1:10 of the second period. He cleaned up a rebound after San Antonio goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris had to go sprawling to stop Mancari's tap-in attempt from the other side of the crease. Mancari and Dmitrij Jaskin earned assists on Locke's power-play goal.
Rattie, a rookie right wing, gave the Wolves a 2-0 lead at 6:59 of the second period. Evan Oberg blasted a shot from the left point and Rattie, skating 10 feet in front of the crease, lifted his stick between his waist and knees and deflected the puck past Grumet-Morris for his first goal as a professional. Oberg and center Pat Cannone picked up assists.
San Antonio (1-2-0-0) pulled within 2-1 just 38 seconds later as Wolves goaltender Jake Allen got a piece of right wing Jed Ortmeyer's close-range shot, but the puck trickled across the goal line at 7:23.
Moments after the Wolves finished killing a penalty, Mancari boosted Chicago's lead to 3-1 at 1:22 of the third period. Mancari eased behind the Rampage defense and Nathan Longpre flipped the puck ahead to the blue line to set up the breakaway. Mancari faked a shot to get Grumet-Thomas to commit and then tucked the puck into the left corner of the net for his first goal of the season.
Allen (2-0-0) has allowed just 2 goals in two starts for the Wolves. Grumet-Thomas (0-2-0) finished with 29 saves for San Antonio.
The Wolves return to the Allstate Arena ice at 3 p.m. Sunday for the back end of their series with San Antonio. They close the homestand at 7:30 p.m. Friday when Rockford comes to town. For tickets, call 1-800-THE-WOLVES or visit ChicagoWolves.com.