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.
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"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.