ROSEMONT, Ill.--- The Chicago Wolves reached the halfway point of the regular season Saturday night, but missed the opportunity to reach the high point of their season at the same time.
The Wolves carried a 2-goal lead into the third period, but Lake Erie produced four unanswered goals to claim a 5-3 victory before 7,612 fans at the Allstate Arena. The Monsters snapped the Wolves’ season-high five-game winning streak while breaking their own four-game losing skid.
The loss denied the Wolves (21-13-1-3) the chance to assume sole possession of first place in the Midwest Division for the first time this season.
Michael Davies and Jordan Schroeder posted one goal and one assist apiece as the Wolves remained tied with Charlotte at 46 points.
“I thought we were going to go out and play well with the lead in the third,” said Wolves head coach Craig MacTavish. “But we came out and made a bunch of errors and it led to our downfall.”
Schroeder’s ninth goal of the year gave the Wolves the lead just 74 seconds into the game. Davies carried the puck below the goal line and fed Schroeder in the slot for the one-timer past Monsters goalie Trevor Cann. Defenseman Yann Sauve also picked an assist on the play.
Lake Erie center Evan Brophey knotted the game at the 8:28 mark of the first period, but the Wolves struck twice in the second period. With five minutes gone, Schroeder’s wrist shot from the right circle deflected off multiple Lake Erie defenders. Davies was there on the doorstep to swat home his third goal in as many games.
Then, with the Wolves working shorthanded, center Steve Reinprecht scored on a breakaway after getting a feed from Nolan Baumgartner. Cann got a pad on Reinprecht’s shot, but not enough to stop it from trickling across the goal line at the 8:33 mark for a 3-1 lead.
Lake Erie (17-19-1-1) responded with goals from Ryan Stoa and Patrick Bordeleau to pull even at 9:15 of the third. After MacTavish took his team’s timeout to stem the tide, the Monsters took the lead on Luke Walker’s rebound score at 13:09. Hugh Jessiman added an empty-net goal with 30 seconds to go.
Eddie Lack (9-9-3) posted 26 saves for the Wolves while Cann (9-14-0) earned 28 saves and the win.
The Wolves wrap up their season-high six-game homestand against the Texas Stars at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Lake Erie 1 0 4 -- 5
Chicago 1 2 0 -- 3
First Period---1, Chicago, Schroeder 9 (Davies, Sauve), 1:14; 2, Lake Erie, Brophey 11 (Stoa, Brennan), 8:28. Penalties---Schneider, Chicago (high-sticking), 3:07; Gaunce, Lake Erie (interference), 6:08; Reinprecht, Chicago (interference), 14:10.
Second Period---3, Chicago, Davies 3 (Schroeder, Sauve), 5:00; 4, Chicago, Reinprecht 4 (Baumgartner), 8:33 sh. Penalties---Davies, Chicago (hooking), 8:05; Liffiton, Lake Erie (holding), 10:52; Parent, Chicago (hooking), 17:58.
Third Period---5, Lake Erie, Stoa 8 (Strong, Brophey), 3:19; 6, Lake Erie, Bordeleau 3 (Cohen, King), 9:15; 7, Lake Erie, Walker 4 (Gaunce), 13:09; 8, Lake Erie, Jessiman 18 (Rissmiller, Gaunce), 19:30 en. Penalties---None.
Shots on goal---Lake Erie: 9-9-13---31. Chicago: 15-13-4—32. Power plays---Lake Erie 0-4. Chicago 0-2. Goalies—Lake Erie, Cann (29-32). Chicago, Lack (26-30). A---7,612. Referee---Darcy Burchell. Linesmen---Aaron Mills and Peter Cichy.