It was just one of those nights for the Chicago Wolves. Recently named the Bastien Memorial Award winner as the AHL’s top goaltender, Jake Allen had a less than impressive performance Friday night at Allstate Arena and the Rochester Americans rolled over the Wolves 7-2 in game four of the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs.
“We haven’t had one of those games for a long time,” said Allen. “Just one of those nights.”
Allen had allowed just two goals in the opening periods through the first three games of the series, but saw a four go up on the scoreboard after 20 minutes in this one. The first two tallies for the Americans came just eight seconds apart, less than two minutes into the game. The Wolves trailed 4-1 after the first.
Chicago had chances to close the gap, but failed to convert on consecutive power play opportunities midway through the second frame. Seconds after serving his time, Frederick Roy stepped onto the ice and wristed a breakaway shot past Allen to give Rochester a 5-1 lead. Allen would exit after giving up five goals on just 17 shots and was replaced by Matt Climie.
“We still thought we had a chance even after the end of the first period, but we gave them a chance to add on to it and they did,” said Wolves head coach John Anderson.
Christian Hanson redirected a point shot off a offensive zone face-off win to cut the lead deficit to 5-2, but minutes later, Brayden Irwin tapped home a loose puck in front through traffic and past Climie to give the Americans a comfortable four-goal cushion heading to the final period.
“When you’re down by that much you try to hang in there as long as you can,” said Anderson. “We just couldn’t recover.”
Johan Larsson tallied Rochester’s third power play goal of the game in the final frame to add insult to injury. The seven goals allowed set a new season-high for the Wolves.
It was just Chicago’s second regulation loss at home over its last 30 games at Allstate Arena, where the decisive game five will take place Sunday afternoon.
“It’s a new game, that’s all it is,” said Allen.
The Wolves are 7-3 all-time in do-or-die situations during their postseason history.
“There’s so many things that go in your mind,” said Anderson. “That’s why it’s the playoffs.”