On the evening of the Ryan Miller trade to his NHL counterpart in St. Louis, Jake Allen did not need to be perfect, he just needed to be focused. Allen stopped 22 shots en route to a 6-2 Chicago Wolves victory over the Rochester Americans Friday night at Allstate Arena.
“Ryan brings that great experience so I think it was a great move for the team,” said Allen. “For me, I’m just playing my game down here.
St. Louis also acquired Steve Ott in the deal and sent Jaroslav Halak, Chris Stewart, William Carrier, and draft picks to Buffalo.
Chicago (32-17-4-2) improved to 14-0-2-0 in its last 16 games at home on the strength of four goals in the second frame, backed up by Allen’s performance in net.
“We’re really confident here and enjoy playing at home,” said Shane Harper who notched his ninth and tenth goals of the season. “I think that shows in our record.”
“The year we needed a leap year,” said a joking Wolves head coach John Anderson after his team finished off an excellent month of February.
After a sluggish first period that saw no score, the Wolves opened up play and were clicking on all cylinders. Rochester (28-19-3-4) scored the opening goal on a rebound by Luke Adam, however, Chicago responded quickly, scoring the next three goals in a span of seven minutes, 34 seconds.
“We came back with some firepower, got the ball rolling and showed some mental ability there,” said Allen.
Rochester would cut the lead to 3-2 in the second, but the Wolves would tack on three more unanswered goals to put the game away with ease. Cundari gave the Wolves a two-goal cushion on a 5-on-3 power play goal, and Sebastian Wannstrom and Harper would add two more goals and the Wolves cruised to the 6-2 win.
Unfortunately for Allen, the Miller trade means he will likely not see NHL action this season barring an injury. He was 9-4-0 last season with the Blues during 15 appearances.
“I don’t think he’s too worried,” said Harper. “I think the guy is the best goalie in the American Hockey League.”
Chicago will be back in action Sunday afternoon when it hosts Iowa to conclude a four-game home stand.