Glass' overtime goal gives Chicago Wolves early jump in series
Cody Glass had a decision to make. And about a tenth of a second to make it.
Fortunately for the Chicago Wolves, the rookie forward listened to his screaming teammates and raced to the bench for a new stick after San Diego's Chase De Leo slashed one out of his hands in overtime of Game 1 of the Western Conference final Friday night at the Allstate Arena.
Sensing an opportunity, a Gulls defenseman fired a shot that bounced off Wolves forward Tye McGinn and right to teammate Tomas Hyka.
That bounce was all the Wolves needed as Hyka zipped a 70-foot pass to Glass, who was all alone behind center ice. Glass knocked the puck down, skated in on former Blackhawks goalie Jeff Glass and snapped off a shot that gave the Wolves a 5-4 victory.
It was Glass' second overtime game-winner of the postseason and his eighth goal in 18 games since joining the Wolves late in the regular season.
Game 2 is at Allstate Arena on Saturday at 7 p.m.
"I had all the confidence in the world in that kid that he was going to get the job done," said teammate Keegan Kolesar. "I shoudn't be saying this because I don't want to be reading this and hearing (about) it later, and getting his head too big.
"But he's a player. It's been great having him here. It's almost like trade-deadline addition. He's been huge for us ever since he came here, and he will be for the rest of our run here."
Tobias Lindberg, Daniel Carr, Tye McGinn and Nic Hague also scored for the Wolves, and Oscar Dansk made 40 saves -- 11 of them in overtime. Hague's goal tied the game at 4-4 with 3:05 remaining in regulation.
Hyka, T.J. Tynan and Zach Whitecloud had 2 assists each. And go ahead and credit another one to equipment manager Ryan Shoufer, who alertly gave Glass the correct stick when he came to the bench.
"Obviously he knew what he was doing," said Glass, who scored with 5:57 remaining in OT. "And in overtime that's a nerve-racking moment. So for him to dial it in there for that last goal -- it's huge."
Jeff Glass (23 saves) said he got a piece of the game-winner, but it wasn't enough.
"I thought I had it," Glass said. "But it squeaked through. Those things happen and we're back at it tomorrow."
Thompson, who watched San Diego come back from deficits of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2, knows his team needs to be better in Game 2.
"We gave a team that's very, very offensively talented and structured opportunities to play to their strengths because of our puck management issues and an unwillingness to simplify our game.
"So we're going to learn from this, without a doubt. We don't want to play more games like that. To me that's playing with fire. We can be better."