The opening face off of game five between the Wolves and Americans.
The opening face off of game five between the Wolves and Americans.


ROSEMONT- In what had already been a hard fought first round Calder Cup Playoff series with the Rochester Americans, the Chicago Wolves needed a fifth game to finally settle things. And settling things is exactly what they did with a 4-2 victory. They take the series 3-2 and send Rochester home to start an early summer vacation.

The Wolves began the scoring just 2:02 into the game thanks to forward Shane Harper, who scored his first postseason goal by putting one past Americans goalie Andrey Makarov (4 goals, 32 saves) to take a 1-0 lead. Rochester would fire back 13 minutes and 21 seconds later courtesy of center Brayden Irwin. It was tied at one goal a piece at the first intermission.

In the second period, the Americans would strike first blood as winger Luke Adam scored at the 2:01 mark to take a 2-1 lead. From there the Wolves would poor on the points in the final two periods. It began with back-to-back power play goals from defenseman Brent Regner (17:28 mark, second period), and winger Dmitrij (DIM-IE-TRIZ) Jaskin (19:33, second).

Defender Taylor Chorney would put the icing on the cake with an empty net goal with 1:01 remaining in regulation. As efficient as the Wolves offense was, their defense was just as good. It all starts with goalie Jake Allen (3-2-0 playoff record) who despite allowing those two early goals, wound up finishing the game with 21 saves.

The Wolves also did a solid job of keeping the puck out of their zone, they also blocked and deflected numerous Rochester shots. After suffering a tough game four defeat in which the Americans scored seven goals, the Wolves adjusted accordingly to limit Rochester’s opportunities. After the game Wolves head coach John Anderson praised his defense.

“Guys were stepping up…. our penalty killing was our bread and butter, I thought we deserved to win today.”

Coach Anderson also noted how his teams power play (2-for-5)  couldn’t have improved at a better time.

“Our power play was last in the league {during the regular season}, but it came on in the second half. Our power play was excellent. It’s kind of unusual {for that to happen}.”

Anderson also keeps his team humble by making them aware that it’s too early to celebrate with another tough series on the horizon. “Just because your expected to win, you shouldn’t be glad when you do” Anderson said. He added, “I think were playing well, we got desperate and we played harder and harder.”

And they’ll have to continue to play hard and desperate if they’re going to make it to the conference finals. After a couple days of rest, the Wolves will get back on the ice to practice before opening the second round at Allstate Arena this coming Friday. The always difficult Toronto Marlies are coming off a first round sweep of the Milwaukee Admirals.

Because Toronto dispatched their first round opponent so early, they’ve had a few extra days of rest and practice as a result. They’ll be more energized, they’ll be hungry, and the Wolves will have to dig deep once again. The puck drop for game one is at 7:30 on Friday night.

Here is the box score from today’s game.

Every Thursday afternoon at 1:30, log onto as I join “The Fahey and Chivari Show” for a weekly chat about Chicago sports. And beginning this coming Friday afternoon at 4:30, I’ll join the “Friday Sports Riot” every week, also on Sports Town Chicago. That program is hosted by Ryan Hoppe.

For all things Chicago sports, you can follow me on Twitter @GabeSalgado82



Gabe Salgado

I'm a sports writer and reporter based here in Chicago. I cover many Chicago area teams and you have heard my voice on area radio stations and podcasts. Follow me on Twitter @GabeSalgado82

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