Wolf pack back in Chicago

By Lindsey Woods

The Chicago Wolves came back home after a four-game winning streak to face the San Antonio Rampage on Nov. 19. Unfortunately, the home-ice tripped the team up, ending a season-high streak in a 3-4 battle against the same team that showed up the players at the season opener in Texas.

Outshooting the Rampage 24-9 in the last two periods wasn’t enough to bring the Wolves back from a deficit of three unanswered goals at the end of the first period. Coach Craig MacTavish said he told the team not to give up on the game during an intermission locker-room talk.

“We talked about giving ourselves a chance to win the game,” MacTavish said. “We fell short this time, but it was a hell of a hockey game.”

Darren Haydar put the Wolves on the board early in the second period on a rebound during a power play that started at the end of the first. It was during the same power play that Wacey Rabbit put the Rampage up 3-0 on a short-handed goal.

After San Antonio regained its three-point lead with a goal by Greg Rallo, the Wolves’ Anton Rodin put the puck between the legs of goaltender Brian Foster on a breakaway. A new player from Stockholm, Sweden, Rodin seemed unfazed by the solo goal, focusing more on the team’s effort.

“We never quit,” Rodin said. “We’ve had our ups and downs this season. We were focused, battling in the corners, but we need to score goals to win.”

Another power-play goal in the third period, scored by Mike Duco, put the Wolves in comeback range at 4-3, but not even another power play could help the team capitalize on a goal to tie the game.

Although the streak-ending game wasn’t exactly the ideal homecoming, MacTavish said he will still look at this game in a positive light.

“We had a lot of good looks and a lot of individuals playing really strong,” he said. “It’s too bad, though. It would have been a hell of a comeback.”

The Rampage spend the most time in the penalty box, racking up 24 penalty minutes versus the Wolves’ 16 minutes.

The Wolves’ loss came after goaltender Eddie Lack flirted with some playing time in the NHL, being called up to Wolves’ affiliate team, the Vancouver Canucks, for just one short day. The Canucks returned the goalie in time for him to stop 22 shots from the Rampage.

Since the loss, the Wolves’ first-line goaltender, Matt Climie, was also called up to spend time with the Canucks. He returned to the Wolves one day later after backing up their NHL counterpart in a 2-1 overtime victory against the Ottawa Senators on Nov. 20.

Climie returned to his position between the Wolves’ posts on Nov. 23 for the game against the Texas Stars.