Streaking Wolves shut out Heat 2-0
BY BRIAN SANDALOW For Sun-Times Media February 23, 2014 9:59PM
Updated: February 23, 2014 11:34PM
The Wolves are gaining confidence with every game. And after their 2-0 victory Sunday against the Abbotsford Heat at Allstate Arena, they should be flush with self-belief.
The result extended the Wolves’ home points streak to 15 games, gave them points in 10 of their last 11 games overall and completed a weekend sweep of the Heat, which is tied for the lead the Western Conference.
‘‘It shows the rest of the league that we’re for real and we’re ready to come to play,’’ said defenseman Evan Oberg, whose power-play goal at 9:27 of the first period gave the Wolves a 1-0 lead.
Ty Rattie made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at 12:17 of the third, and Jake Allen made 21 saves for his third shutout of the season as the Wolves (31-17-4-2)
handed the Heat its second consecutive loss after a 12-game points streak. The Wolves topped the Heat 5-3 on Saturday.
‘‘We measure [ourselves] with the best teams in the league,’’ Oberg said. ‘‘We know we can beat anybody now, and I think that’s a big thing for us. We’re going to play like champions and show the rest of the league what we’ve got.’’
Unlike Saturday, when they yielded two third-period goals to let the Heat back into the game, the Wolves turned in a strong final period. They doubled their lead on Rattie’s goal on their way to notching their first shutout since Dec. 27.
Wolves coach John Anderson said he felt comfortable all game.
‘‘We just played smarter and [had] more puck possession,’’ he said. ‘‘We didn’t give the puck up as much. We didn’t force plays. When you have that and they don’t have the puck, they can’t shoot it on our net.’’
When the Heat did shoot, Allen
was there. He picked up his 23rd victory to tie the Toronto Marlies’ Drew MacIntyre for the American Hockey League lead. He helped the Wolves keep the lead during a second period in which they killed three Heat power plays and was strong behind a responsible defensive effort.
Allen welcomed that and appreciated what the weekend meant.
‘‘It’s great to see, especially at this time of the season,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s coming down to the wire here and every game’s so important, especially against a team that’s ahead of us in the standings. Those were two really big wins.’’