Wolves forward Tim Miller advances the puck during Game 3 against the San Antonio Rampage. | Ross Dettman~Chicago Wolves
Updated: May 26, 2012 8:23AM
Throughout the season, Wolves coach Craig MacTavish has encouraged his sometimes bashful team to take shots they might not like.
Facing elimination against the San Antonio Rampage in Game 3 of the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs Tuesday night at Allstate Arena, the Wolves finally took that advice seriously.
The Wolves peppered Rampage goalie Dov Grumet-Morris early and often, helping them get an early lead in a 3-2 win. The Wolves, who trail the series 2-1, host Game 4 on Wednesday night.
“We wanted to really test him [Grumet-Morris] early and see what he had, and we were fortunate to get some good bounces,” Wolves center Jordan Schroeder said.
Schroeder scored the game’s first goal at 12:24 in the first period when he slung a shot from just outside the right circle as he was up against the boards. Darren Haydar put the Wolves up 2-0 heading into the first intermission when he directed a Mark Mancari pass from the point at 19:06 in the period.
Though the Wolves were able to ride a solid first period to a victory, they allowed the Rampage plenty of opportunities to get back into the game. The Wolves committed five minor penalties in the final two periods. San Antonio’s lone goal during that span came from Alex Petrovic at 16:41 in the second period on a power play that came after a Mark Matheson hooking penalty.
“We’d like to be getting on the forecheck a little more and create some pressure down ice, but that’s how it goes sometimes,” Schroeder said.
Leading 2-1 in the final two minutes of the third and the Rampage looking to pull Grumet-Morris, the Wolves managed to keep the puck in the offensive zone for close to a minute.
After Grumet-Morris was pulled, Haydar scored an empty-netter at 19:22. San Antonio center Bracken Kearns added a goal with two seconds left.
“It looked like it might have been an easier night, and then in the second period we let them back in it a little bit,” MacTavish said. “We managed the puck about as well as we could to let them back in it and then defended most of the third period.”