IceHogs take advantage of tired Wolves in 2-1 win
BY SETH GRUEN For Sun-Times Media February 24, 2013 8:17PM
Wolves players Jim Vandermeer (12) and Bill Sweatt work against the IceHogs winger Kenndal McArdle (25) during the first period of a 2-1 loss by the Wolves Sunday at Allstate Arena. | Ross Dettman~Wolves
Updated: March 3, 2013 6:14PM
The Wolves denied they were fatigued after playing the second game of a back-to-back Sunday against the Rockford IceHogs at Allstate Arena.
But it was apparent in the their 2-1 loss.
The Wolves arrived in Chicago around 2:00 a.m. after winning 3-0 in Peoria on Saturday. Knowing the Wolves were playing on minimal rest, Rockford was aggressive from the start and seemed to outskate the Wolves to almost every puck.
“We weren’t moving our feet,” left wing Darren Haydar said. “We were a little bit slow in everything we did. We would get the puck, we would chip it in, but we didn’t have the support to get it back.”
Brad Mills and Martin St. Pierre (power play) scored in the first period for the IceHogs.
The Wolves didn’t muster many scoring chances and were outshot 31-24.
Haydar scored a power-play goal at 19:31 of the third period after coach Scott Arniel pulled goalie Matt Climie.
“You’re down like that, you know they’re going to sit back a little bit,” Arniel said. “We tried to throw everything at them. We didn’t really get a ton of chances.”
The game was played amid increasing speculation that the Wolves could be losing their affiliation with the Vancouver Canucks. The Utica (N.Y.) Observer-Dispatch reported that the Calgary Flames would be moving their AHL affiliate from Abbotsford, British Columbia, to Utica.
There have been rumors since August that the Canucks were trying to acquire the Abbotsford franchise, which is located about an hour from Vancouver.
The Wolves are in the second year of a two-year affiliate deal with the Canucks.
“They like what’s going on with their players,” Wolves general manager Wendell Young said. “They know when they hand their players to us, they’re going to be treated first class.”
Should the Canucks move their AHL affiliation to Abbotsford, the Wolves wouldn’t have problems finding a new suitor.
“We’re getting anxious,” Young said. “I don’t want to sit here in June and July and go, ‘I got to find an affiliate,’ and I just pick what’s left. There are teams looking. I’ve had calls.”