Wolves blow lead, lose big to Barons
BY BRIAN SANDALOW For Sun-Times Media December 7, 2013 11:34PM
Wolves right wing Tyler Shattock (right) pursues the puck against Barons left wing Ryan Hamilton on Saturday. | Dale Woltman/Wolves
Updated: January 9, 2014 10:03AM
The Wolves didn’t end November well. The same goes for their start in December.
After going winless in four of their final five games last month, the Wolves played for the first time in six days and opened December with a 5-2 loss Saturday night to the Oklahoma City Barons. After rallying to take a 2-1 lead in the third period, the Wolves allowed two goals in 57 seconds, culminating in Roman Horak’s game-winner with 4:08 remaining.
Horak and Matthew Ford added empty-netters, and Ty Rimmer made 39 saves.
Sergey Andronov and Pat Cannone scored in the third for the Wolves, who outshot Oklahoma City 41-23 but couldn’t avoid falling to .500 at 10-10-0-2. The Wolves’ 28th-ranked power play also struggled, failing on all five chances.
All of that was frustrating to coach John Anderson, who hinted at making changes to his roster.
“Just got to figure out some way, maybe find some other players that can score or whatever we have to do. I don’t know,” Anderson said. “I’ll have to make some decisions here in this upcoming [period] because we can’t go on like this.”
The teams play again at 3 p.m. Sunday.
Trailing 1-0 after former Wolves defenseman Brad Hunt’s first-period power-play goal, the Wolves were stymied until Andronov tied the game with 15:33 remaining in the third when he re-directed Cade Fairchild’s slap shot.
Then with 12:01 left, Cannone converted a rebound to give the Wolves their first lead. Cannone also had a golden opportunity to give the Wolves a 3-1 lead, but he couldn’t convert from Rimmer’s right.
“It was a tough ending for us. I liked the way we came out in the third and battled hard right in the beginning,” Cannone said. “We’ve just got to try and learn how to close games out.”
The Wolves lost that chance when Miller tied the game with 5:05 left when he picked up a Nathan Longpre turnover in the Chicago zone, outraced the Wolves defense and beat Jake Allen (18 saves).
The Wolves were without center Keith Aucoin (lower body injury) for the fourth straight game while Alexandre Bolduc was back in the lineup for the first time since Nov. 9.