Ivan Barbashev netted a goal in his first game of the season, but the Chicago Wolves fell 3-1 to the Manitoba Moose on Wednesday afternoon at Allstate Arena.
"We had a really good first period," said Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson. "We didn't get rewarded early. Their goalie was playing extremely well. We just got discouraged or we started to try more -- and we didn't have to. We were going to be rewarded. We were generating the opportunities and the chances. We just had to stick to the plan."
Manitoba scored three consecutive goals before the Wolves (2-3-1-0) got on the scoresheet at the end of the third period.
Jack Roslovic opened game scoring in the final minutes of a physical first period. During a 2-on-1 rush, Michael Spacek slipped a pass across the slot to Roslovic for an easy tap-in goal.
Manitoba (4-3-0-0) doubled its lead at 12:32 of the second frame when Mason Appleton entered the zone on the left side and delivered a cross-ice pass to Buddy Robinson streaking up the right wing. He hammered the shot home for the 2-0 lead.
On the power play in the final frame, former Wolves forward Patrice Cormier knocked in one of several rebound chances to give the Moose a 3-0 lead at 16:21.
Chicago broke Eric Comrie's shutout bid with just 1:15 to play as Barbashev won the offensive-zone faceoff and Paul Thompson pushed the puck through a pile of players to the front of the net. In a net-front scramble, Barbashev managed to chip the puck past Comrie for the 3-1 score.
In his Wolves debut, goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo (0-1-0) made 23 saves while Comrie (2-2-0) stopped 36 shots for the victory.
The Wolves travel to Van Andel Arena on Friday, Oct. 27, for their first of eight games this season with the reigning Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins. Puck drop is 6 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on The U Too