The win marked the 16th straight home game in which the Wolves have earned a point (15-0-0-1) and the club’s fifth win in six games overall. Chicago (41-18-1-5) holds first place in the American Hockey League’s West Division with 15 games remaining in the regular season.
Wolves goaltender Peter Mannino (21-3-0) kicked out 17 of 21 shots he faced in regulation and overtime and stopped five of eight Lake Erie attempts in the shootout to collect his season-high 13th straight win.
Left wing Andrew Kozek notched two goals for Chicago in regulation, while right wing Spencer Machacek added three assists. Forwards Kevin Doell, Jason Krog, Matt Anderson and Kozek converted in the shootout to help the Wolves to victory.
“Unfortunately we let them get back in the game,” said Wolves Head Coach Don Lever. “Momentum changes, but we battled and hung in there.”
Chicago jumped out to a 1-0 lead, 7:07 into the first period. Right wing Joey Crabb backhanded a pass to Tim Stapleton, who moved into the slot and threaded a through traffic, which Anderson got his stick on to deflect past Monsters goaltender John Grahame.
Right wing Darren Haydar got the Monsters on the board at 14:16 of the opening frame when he stole the puck from a Wolves player in front of the net, threw it back to Justin Mercier, who one-timed it back to Haydar for a quick flip up over Mannino’s shoulder and into the net.
Chicago regained a one-goal lead, 2-1, heading into the second intermission with a goal from defenseman Grant Lewis. The blueliner wound up and cranked a shot from the blueline, which deflected off of traffic in front of the net and skipped past Grahame.
Grahame (3-12-1) turned aside 29 shots for Lake Erie.
Kozek gave the Wolves a 3-1 lead at 4:15 of the second period. Machacek stripped a Lake Erie player of the puck behind the Wolves net, moved to the side and sent a pass across to Kozek, who banged it into the open right side of the net.
Kozek bagged his second of the game with 6:50 left in the middle frame when he flung a shot straight down the slot that beat Grahame glove-side.
Monsters defenseman Brain Fahey beat Mannino on a shot from the point while working on the power play to make the score 4-2 at the 15:00 mark of the second period.
Kevin Porter brought the Monsters within one, 4-3, at 19:10 of the middle period when he walked in past the Wolves defense and pushed a shot between Mannino’s legs.
Lake Erie (30-29-0-6) tied the game, 4-4, at 13:59 of the third period. A long shot by Tom Preissing caromed off of traffic in front of the net and Phillipe Dupuis collected it and dished it over the goal line to tie the game.
The Wolves will host the Toronto Marlies at the Allstate Arena on Friday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Lake Erie 1 2 1 0 -- 4
Chicago 2 2 0 0 (1) -- 5 Shootout
First Period---1, Chicago, Anderson 13 (Stapleton, Crabb), 7:07; 2, Lake Erie, Haydar 22 (Mercier), 14:16; 3, Chicago, Lewis 1 (Machacek, Kulda), 17:32. Penalties---Kaip, Chicago (interference), 9:17; Kulda, Chicago (cross-checking), 11:09 Grahame, Lake Erie (interference), 12:14.
Second Period---4, Chicago, Kozek 9 (Machacek), 4:15; 5, Chicago, Kozek 10 (Machacek, Postma), 13:10; 6, Lake Erie, Fahey 7 (Mercier, Skinner), 15:00 pp; 7, Lake Erie, Porter 16 (Aspenlind), 19:10. Penalties---Vishnevskiy, Chicago (slashing), 14:36.
Third Period---8, Lake Erie, Dupuis 15 (Mercier, Preissing), 13:59. Penalties---Haydar, Lake Erie (delay of game), 0:25.
Shootout---Lake Erie: Bradford, miss; Dupuis, miss; Willsie, made; Porter, made; Haydar, miss; Mercier, miss; Skinner, made; Rowe, miss. Chicago: Crabb, miss; Stewart, miss; Stapleton, miss; Doell, made; Kozek, made; Vishnevskiy, miss; Krog, made; Anderson, made.
Shots on goal---Lake Erie: 6-6-6-3--21. Chicago: 12-12-8-1-1-34. Power plays---Lake Erie: 1-2. Chicago: 0-2. Goalies---Lake Erie, Grahame (29-33). Chicago, Mannino (17-21). A---7,026. Referee---Jean Herbert. Linesmen---Judson Ritter and Jesse Pletsch.