Wolves’ power play stymied in 4-2 loss to Rampage
By Matt Harness Sun-Times Media October 13, 2013 9:37PM
Updated: October 13, 2013 9:51PM
For the third time in four games, the Wolves were shut out on the power play.
They had four chances, including two in the third period, during a 4-2 loss to the San Antonio Rampage on Sunday at Allstate Arena. The team is 1-for-17 for the season.
Despite the lack of scoring, Wolves coach John Anderson said the unit was better than it was Saturday, when Corey Locke converted on a man advantage.
“I thought our power play was excellent,” said Anderson, whose club evened its record at 2-2. “We held on to the puck, but the shots didn’t fall. I hope eventually they fall. I was happy to see our power play generating grade ‘A’ chances.”
Right wing Mark Mancari, a mainstay on the power play, agreed that the unit generated quality opportunities.
In the third, Mancari joined with fellow forwards Michael Davies, Keith Aucoin and Chris Porter and defenseman Taylor Chorney to create two close-range chances.
“We just couldn’t pull the trigger,” Mancari said. “But you got to start with chances and go from there.”
Anderson said he has experimented with the lines and will continue the process until he finds the right combinations. He and the coaching staff have parameters for the power play, but he said he mostly wants the players to use their instincts.
“We don’t want to take anybody’s paintbrush away from them,” he said. “There are certain things we can improve on, little tactical things that we will get better at.”
The Rampage (2-2) never trailed. It built a 3-1 lead after scoring two goals in a 19-second stretch that bridged the second and third periods.
Mancari scored his second goal of the season 46 seconds later, but the Wolves couldn’t capitalize on their two power plays in the third.
Rampage center Vincent Trocheck scored two third-period goals against Wolves goalie Matt Climie.
NOTES: Wolves defenseman David Shields scored his first AHL goal in his 111th game. His goal in the second period at the 10:27 mark tied the score at 1-1. Shields played 107 games for the Peoria Rivermen over two seasons.
◆ On Friday, the Wolves host the Rockford IceHogs, the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate.