Back from the Blues, Adam Cracknell scores twice to lead Wolves
BY BRIAN SANDALOW For Sun-Times Media May 1, 2014 10:55PM
Adam Cracknell scored a goal in the Wolves' 4-2 victory over Utica on Tuesday.
Updated: June 3, 2014 6:41AM
Last week, Adam Cracknell was trying to end one Chicago team’s playoff run.
Now he’s trying to extend another’s.
Reassigned Wednesday after the St. Louis Blues were ousted by the Blackhawks, Cracknell scored twice Thursday in the Wolves’ 4-0 victory over the Rochester Americans in Game 3.
The Wolves, who have a 2-1 lead in the series, scored three power-play goals and are a victory away from winning their first playoff series since 2010. They can clinch Friday and would face the Toronto Marlies in the second round.
They’re in that position thanks to Cracknell’s two goals in the first period and third-period goals from Keith Aucoin and Ty Rattie, more than enough of a cushion for Jake Allen (18 saves).
“Last week, I was not liked, and now coming back to Chicago I’m liked again,” Cracknell said. “Our team played well, made a lot of good plays. We had a lot of good chances.”
Cracknell, who was recalled by the Blues on April 11, missed the Wolves’ last six regular-season games and the first two playoff games to be a part of St. Louis’ brief run. He appeared in five postseason games, scoring in the Blues’ Game 1 victory over the Hawks.
In 28 games for the Wolves after arriving Jan. 23, Cracknell had 12 goals and 13 assists and helped them surge past the Grand Rapids Griffins to win the Midwest Division. But he only resumed skating with the Wolves at their morning skate Thursday.
He didn’t need much time to get acclimated, connecting twice in the first to put the Wolves in front after they had spent only 7:29 with the lead in the previous two games.
‘‘I was a little worried about how he was going to feel [physically],’’ Wolves coach John Anderson said. ‘‘He says he felt good. I shortened his shifts at the end there. Thank goodness he was here.”
Allen, whose shutout was the Wolves’ first in the playoffs since 2010, felt the same way.
“Credit him for coming and playing his heart out,” Allen said. “It was huge. We’re lucky to have him.”