Wolves win home opener as Ty Rattie scores first AHL goal
By MATT HARNESS Sun-Times Media October 12, 2013 11:34PM
Updated: November 14, 2013 6:55AM
At this time last year, Ty Rattie was racking up goals for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League.
A first-round selection by the St. Louis Blues in the 2011 NHL draft, Rattie proved himself on the lower level by ranking second in the league with 48 goals in 62 games.
The Wolves rookie right winger scored his first AHL goal Saturday when he redirected defenseman Evan Oberg’s shot in the second period of the 3-1 victory over the San Antonio Rampage at Allstate Arena.
“The first week, I thought he was feeling the league out a little bit,” said coach John Anderson, who’s back on the Wolves’ bench for the first time since winning the league title in 2008. “He’s going to get better. We’re not putting too much pressure on him, but we want to put a little bit of pressure on him.
“If you’re going to be a first-round pick, the expectations are higher than everyone else’s.”
With his father and girlfriend in attendance and his mother watching on TV, Rattie, 20, doubled his shot output from the first two games with six. He connected at the 6:59 mark of the second period to stake the Wolves (2-1) to a 2-0 lead.
“I felt more confident with the puck, and we played better hockey overall,” said Rattie, who started on a line with Pat Cannone and Nathan Longpre. “The first two games were not my best because I was kind of getting into it. This was my best game by far.
“The big thing is confidence.”
After a scoreless first period, Corey Locke, the 2011 AHL MVP, scored less than two minutes into the second. Goalie Jake Allen kept the Wolves close early with 13 saves in the first period. He finished with 30.
Mark Mancari, in his second stint with the Wolves, provided the final goal at the 1:22 mark of the third period.
Anderson said he was happy to win his homecoming, but he said the team is a long way from a title contender.
“Not close,” Anderson said. “But you have to remember, there are 29 guys I haven’t seen before. We’re trying to feel out who can play with who and what combinations are the best.”