11 January 2013

Sterling's Natural Hat Trick Sparks Wolves to Win

ABBOTSFORD, BC---Brett Sterling needed less than 19 minutes to notch the first Chicago Wolves hat trick of the season as the Wolves topped the Abbotsford Heat 3-1 Friday night at Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.

Defenseman Brad Hunt contributed assists on Sterling’s first two goals while goaltender Matt Climie (8-11-1) stopped 26 of 27 shots to earn the win for the Wolves (16-12-3-2).

Sterling stole the spotlight, but it was the Heat that struck first. Forward Ben Walter lit the lamp 4:05 into the first period, beating Climie down low on the power play.

But Abbotsford (17-11-3-4) was on its heels for the remainder of the first frame. Sterling tied the score at 10:17 with a power-play strike of his own past Abbotsford goaltender Leland Irving. Hunt and Darren Haydar earned assists.

Minutes later at 12:21, Sterling was set up by solid defensive play and tipped a flying puck into Irving’s mesh as Hunt and defenseman Adam Polasek registered assists.

To complete the first natural hat trick of his career, Sterling backhanded a stray puck from the board behind Irving’s net and it slipped past the goaltender’s skate and into the mesh at 18:33.

Sterling recorded his first hat trick since Nov. 29, 2007. He owns five hat tricks in American Hockey League play --- all with the Wolves.

Trailing 3-1 to open the second period, the Heat made a change between the pipes and called on Danny Taylor to replace Irving (2-3-1). He finished the night with 7 saves. Taylor stopped all 20 shots he faced.

Chicago and Abbotsford meet again at 9 p.m. Saturday in British Columbia. The Wolves return to the Allstate Arena on Wednesday night to welcome the Texas Stars at 7 p.m. For tickets, call1-800-THE-WOLVES or visit ChicagoWolves.com.

Chicago 3 0 0 -- 3

Abbotsford 1 0 0 -- 1

First Period---1, Abbotsford, Walter 6 (Byron, Kolanos), 4:05 pp; 1, Chicago, Sterling 11 (Hunt, Haydar), 10:17 pp; 2, Chicago, Sterling 12 (Hunt, Polasek), 12:21; 3, Chicago, Sterling (Unassisted), 18:33. Penalties--- Gordon, Chicago (hooking), 3:54; Polasek, Chicago (boarding), 5:42; Nemisz, Abbotsford (tripping), 9:52.

Second Period---None. Penalties--- Horak, Abbotsford (hooking), 7:14.

Third Period---None. Penalties---Archibald, Chicago (holding the stick), 13:19.

Shots on goal---Chicago: 10-9-11--30; Abbotsford: 9-8-10--27. Power plays---Chicago 1-2; Abbotsford 1-3. Goalies—Chicago, Climie (26-27), Abbotsford, Irving (7-10); Taylor (20-20). A---6,585. Referee---Brett Montsion and Mark Lemelin. Linesmen---John Grandt and Nathan Vanoosten.