Bill Sweatt rang up a pair of second-period goals to help carry the Chicago Wolves to a 3-1 victory over the Houston Aeros on Saturday night before 15,021 at the Allstate Arena.
Sweatt, a 24-year-old Elburn native, delivered a short-handed score and added a power-play goal as the Wolves (19-13-3-2) notched their fifth win in the last six games. Andrew Gordon recorded an empty-net goal in the final minute.
Rookie goaltender Joe Cannata (2-1-0) turned aside 21 shots to earn the victory in his third American Hockey League start.
"Our work ethic (Friday) night wasn't what we want to see from our team," said Wolves coach Scott Arniel, who picked up his 200th AHL triumph. "Tonight, we responded with a solid 60 minutes. Everyone from No. 1 to 20 on our roster worked their tails off."
The Aeros (18-14-4-3) opened the scoring at 3:52 of the second period on center Carson McMillan's rebound goal. Cannata blocked Chad Rau's shot when he came from behind the net and tried to stuff home the puck with a backhand, but McMillan was waiting at the top of the crease to slam in the rebound.
The Wolves evened things while shorthanded at 12:16. Gordon led a 2-on-1 charge, pulling up in the near circle to feed Sweatt. He was set up just outside the crease and had an unchallenged tap into the net.
Sweatt picked up his second goal, scoring on a power play at 19:28 when he deflected a pass from Anton Rodin over the right shoulder of goaltender Matt Hackett (13-14-3, 32 saves). Darren Haydar earned an assist to run his point streak to six games.
Gordon's empty-netter at 19:27 of the third period gave him 6 goals in the last seven games. Hackett (13-14-3) finished with 32 saves for Houston.
The Wolves play at Peoria on Wednesday at 10 a.m. in an Illinois Lottery Cup contest. They return to Allstate Arena on Saturday, Feb. 2, to host Peoria. For tickets, call 1-800-THE-WOLVES or visit ChicagoWolves.com.