Rockford IceHogs / Greg Hamil
Wouldn't Canucks/Blackhawks games be more fun if they all started like this?
Last night the more veteran-laced Wolves team needed a little more than a minute to strangle the fun and enjoyment out of their cross-state rivals. When the final buzzer did its thing, the Wolves skated off to a well-earned 6-1 win.
The beatdown began around the 6:33 mark of the first when Brett Sterling (playing on the first line with Jordan Schroeder and Andrew Gordon) scored on a breakaway PPG, assisted by newbie Patrick Mullen. Fourth liner Steven Anthony would redirect a long shot 28 seconds afterward to double the Wolves' lead. 30 seconds later Darren Archibald (playing alongside Alex Friesen and Steve Pinizzotto) banged home a backhander to put the good guys firmly in the driver's seat. A few minutes later the IceHogs gifted a 5-on-3 to the Wolves and newbie Derek Joslin passed to partner Mullen in the slot and, badda bing, 4-0. All in the first period.
Andrew Gordon made it 5-0 midway through the second when he dunked a rebound from a Mullen point blast. Kyle Beach would finally solve Matt Climie when the netminder flubbed a clearing pass and gave the Blackhawks rookie an open net to shoot at. The Wolves would add one more five minutes later when Yann Sauve floated a shot from the circle that fooled Kent Simpson.
Other notables: Zack Kassian picked up a boarding call in the first period, Guillaume Desbiens picked up three calls in the second (fighting, roughing and boarding...a Desbiens hat trick?) while Schroeder and Chris Tanev picked up an assist on the Sauve tally. Big winner of the night was Mullen who ended with a goal and two assists. Eddie Lack stopped all nine shots that went his way.
The Wolves have
one two more preseason games: this Friday against the Peoria Rivermen and Saturday against the Milwaukee Admirals.