In a game dictated by poor special teams play, it was only fitting that a power play goal would be the decisive tally. The Chicago Wolves fell 3-2 in overtime to the Toronto Marlies Friday night at Allstate Arena.
“Our special teams are average at best,” said Chicago Wolves head coach John Anderson.
Chicago (20-14-2-2) allowed eight power play opportunities for Toronto (22-11-2-2), who converted on three chances, including the game winner 3:49 into extra time. Mark Mancari was sent off after a tripping call, and Sam Carrick ended it with a rifle past Wolves goaltender Jake Allen with three seconds remaining on the penalty.
Anderson was not a fan of the minor given to Mancari.
“That’s a very, very weak call,” Anderson said. “I don’t know how that’s a penalty.”
Allen had put forth a terrific effort in the third period, holding off a late Marlies rush. Allen stood tall on the power play late in the game, knocking away three sharp-angled shots. However, he could only do so much alone, and undisciplined penalties proved costly.
“Jake plays good all the time, so in how we backed him up tonight, it’s disappointing as a team,” Anderson said.
Chicago’s penalty kill units looked fatigued on the ice, and Toronto took advantage.
“When you keep throwing your penalty killers out there, you’re tired,” Anderson said. “Trying to get everybody back in a rhythm takes a while, and that’s why it took so long for us to get going.”
The Wolves had trailed 2-0 before defenseman Cade Fairchild scored his first goal of the season late in the second to cut the lead. Forward Sergey Andronov would tie it at 3:19 in the third. Both goals came on the Wolves’ power play, which went two for eight on the night. However, Anderson was displeased with his team’s play on the man-advantage when they failed to score on a five-on-three soon after tying the game.
“Had a chance to win the game on a five-on-three and missed the net three … times,” said Anderson.
Chicago had its seven-game home win streak snapped in the loss but will look to start anew Saturday night at Allstate Arena against the Rockford IceHogs.