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Penalty kill delivers for Wolves in win over Aeros

Updated: February 21, 2013 6:57AM

The Wolves are last in the AHL in killing penalties, but that stat is mitigated by the fact they take the fewest penalties.

That beleaguered unit rose to the occasion in a 3-1 win over the Houston Aeros on Saturday in front of 15,021 at Allstate Arena.

The Wolves (19-13-3-2) killed all four of the Aeros’ power plays, all in the second period.

“We just battled, we just hung in there together,” Wolves left wing Bill Sweatt said. “We knew we were going to change quick and just keep the new guys rolling in, and we almost ended up scoring two goals off it. That was a huge momentum shift for us.’’

Down 1-0 in the second period, Sweatt scored a short-handed goal midway through the second period. Sweatt, playing in his second game since returning from Canucks training camp, scored the go-ahead goal on the power play with 32 seconds left in the second period after he redirected an Anton Rodin slap shot.

The Aeros could have easily run away with the game in the second period, but the Wolves continued a stretch of top-notch penalty killing. Over the last four games, the Wolves have killed
8 of 9 penalties.

“Everybody worked their tails off, and I think that our penalty kill was another product of that,” coach Scott Arniel said. “We’ve seen it, too, that when the power play gets outworked by the penalty kill, we know that things are going well, and tonight I thought our penalty killers did an outstanding job.”

Andrew Gordon added an empty-netter for the Wolves’ ­final goal.

Rookie goalie Joe Cannata made 21 saves in his third AHL start.

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