20 February 2010

Six-Goal First Period Fuels 7-1 Wolves Win

The win marked the seventh straight for Chicago (36-17-0-4), which matches a season high. The club has vaulted to first place in the West Division and third overall in the American Hockey League with 76 points.

Right wing Spencer Machacek and defenseman Jamie Hunt each scored twice, while forwards Brett Sterling (G, A), Matt Anderson (G, A) and Kevin Doell (2A) and blueliner Paul Postma (G, A) all posted multiple-point nights.

“We were very sharp early and we caught them off guard,” said Wolves Head Coach Don Lever.

Postma keyed the offense when he gave Chicago an early lead, banging a shot from the slot past Aeros netminder Wade Dubielewicz just 87 seconds into the game.

Machacek made the Wolves’ lead 2-0, 4:15 into the game. Center Johnny Pohl carried the puck into the zone and slipped a cross-ice pass to Machacek, who deked to pull Dubielewicz out of position before flicking the puck into the net.

Hunt cranked a shot down the slot 1:14 seconds later to give the Wolves a three-goal lead 5:29 into the contest, and chase Dubielewicz in favor of back-up Barry Brust.

Dubielewicz (12-11-0), who returned to the crease at the start of the second period, posted 13 saves in 45:29 of action, while Brust made two saves in 14:31 between the pipes.

Hunt continued the offensive onslaught with his second of the game at 9:52 of the first period. Defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy flung an initial shot at Brust, and Doell picked up the rebound and pushed it to Hunt, who tapped it past Brust.

Anderson potted a fifth goal for the Wolves at 16:11 of the first frame. Houston’s Maxim Noreau fired a slapshot, which clanked off the post and rang around the boards. Anderson picked it up, drove into the zone and flipped a wrist shot past Brust, glove side.

Houston (27-24-6-1) got on the board with a power-play marker with 1:30 remaining in the first period. Noreau fired a shot from the blue line, which blew by a screened Drew MacIntyre.

MacIntyre (15-11-1) made 31 saves on 32 shots in picking up his seventh straight win.

The Wolves picked up a sixth goal with 23 seconds left to play in the opening frame. Defenseman Mike Vernace cranked a wrist shot, which bounced off the back boards. Right wing Anthony Stewart picked it up and attempted a wrap-around, which Brust thwarted, but left the rebound for Sterling to knock home.

Machacek tallied his second of the night at 7:21 of the third period to make the score 7-1. The right wing ripped a shot at the net and chased the rebound, gaining control behind the net and then wrapping around and tucking the puck between Dubielewicz and the post.

The Wolves host the San Antonio Rampage at the Allstate Arena on Sunday at 3 p.m.

Houston 1 0 0 -- 1

Chicago 6 0 1 -- 7

First Period---1, Chicago, Postma 6 (Crabb, Anderson), 1:27; 2, Chicago, Machacek 13 (Pohl, Postma), 4:15; 3, Chicago, Hunt 2 (Simpson, Galivan), 5:29; 4, Chicago, Hunt 3 (Doell, Vishnevskiy), 9:52 pp; 5, Chicago, Anderson 12 (unassisted), 16:11; 6, Houston, Noreau 15 (Smith), 18:30 pp; 7, Chicago, Serling 32 (Stewart, Vernace), 19:37. Penalties---Bench, Chicago (too many men), 2:34; Houston, Almond (hooking), 3:00; McMillan, Houston (elbowing major, game misconduct), 5:29; Welch, Chicago (boarding), 14:02; Chelios, Chicago (hooking), 17:32.

Second Period---None. Penalties---Simpson, Chicago (roughing), 3:05.

Third Period---8, Chicago, Machacek 14 (Doell, Sterling), 7:21. Penalties---Fraser, Houston (holding), 1:51; Sifers, Houston (roughing), 13:36; Sterling, Chicago (roughing), 13:36; Earl, Houston (interference), 19:12.

Shots on goal---Houston: 10-10-12--32. Chicago: 10-5-7--22. Power plays---Houston: 1-4. Chicago: 1-5. Goalies---Houston, Dubielewicz (13-17) 45:29, replaced by Barry Brust (2-5), 14:31. Chicago, MacIntyre (31-32). A---14,104. Referee---Jeff Smith. Linesmen---Judson Ritter and Bryan Pancich.