“We have to figure out some way and find some other players who can score, whatever we have to do,” said Chicago Wolves head coach John Anderson after Saturday night’s 5-2 loss to the Oklahoma City Barons. “We’ll have to make some decisions here because we cannot continue this way, that’s for sure.”
Well, the message was sent, and Anderson got his wish. The Wolves battled, coming back from deficits three times in a 5-4 shootout victory over the same Barons team Sunday afternoon at Allstate Arena.
“This is the kind of win that brings teams together,” said Anderson.
With goaltender Matt Climie on the bench and the extra attacker on the ice, Ty Rattie poked in the game-tying goal amid a pileup of bodies in the crease with 17.6 seconds to play in regulation. Rattie also had scored a goal earlier in the third period to tie the game 3-3.
“I beat (C.J. Stretch) to the net and the puck just landed on my stick,” said Rattie of his second goal.
Rattie entered the game second on the Wolves’ point totals after tallying four points over the past four games. His two goals in this game gave him 13 points for the season and a team-high 8 goals.
“We haven’t really had anyone get hot recently, so that’s great to see,” said Anderson.
Chicago has had trouble scoring all season, but that was not a problem tonight thanks to the stellar play of Rattie.
“You’ve got to feel like you belong here,” said Rattie. “Lucky for me I got a few bounces and we got a big win for the team.”
After a scoreless overtime period in which both Barons goaltender Ty Rimmer and Wolves goaltender Matt Climie were sharp, the game entered a shootout. Chicago had been 0-2 in shootouts coming in, but neither game had come with Climie in net.
Climie stopped all three shots he faced in the shootout, and Chicago converted on three of its four chances with goals by Rattie, Shane Harper, and Dmitrij Jaskin.
“That was the best I’ve ever seen us in a shootout,” said Anderson.
“It was such a big comeback win for us,” said Climie. “I just wanted to be there for the team and make those saves.”
With the win, the Wolves improved to 11-10-0-2 on the season and will have some confidence moving forward. Chicago will be off until Wednesday night when they face division rival Grand Rapids.