The victory places West-Division leading Chicago (44-19-1-5) just two points shy of clinching its 14th playoff berth in 16 seasons. The Wolves will look to collect those two points when they re-match with the Rampage at the Allstate Arena tomorrow at 3 p.m.
Forwards Kevin Doell (2G), Joey Crabb (G, A), Jason Krog (G, A) and Spencer Machacek (2A) led the way for the Wolves with two points apiece, while goaltender Drew MacIntyre (18-14-2) stopped all 28 shots he faced in 49:59 of relief duty.
Crabb cracked a 3-3 tie with the eventual game-winner 17 seconds into the third period when the rebound from an Ivan Vishnevskiy shot bounced onto his stick and he flicked it past San Antonio golatender Josh Tordjman, stick side.
Doell padded Chicago’s lead, 5-3, when he pushed the rebound from Machacek’s shot over the goal line at 9:22 of the final frame. The tally was his second of the game and sent Tordjman to the bench in favor of backup Miika Wiikman. Krog added an empty-net tally with 54 seconds left in the game to round out scoring, 6-3.
“Drew came in and played very solid, and we went from playing our worst period in a long time to playing one of our best periods in a long time. That showed a lot of character,” said Wolves Head Coach Don Lever.
The Rampage took a 1-0 lead, 5:17 into the first period. Defenseman David Schlemko fired a shot on net, which right wing David Spina collected in front of the goal, moved to the side, and deposited it past Wolves goaltender Peter Mannino.
San Antonio (32-29-4-6) increased its lead, 2-0, at 8:17 of the first frame. Defenseman Sean Sullivan controlled the puck in San Antonio’s zone and shipped it up the ice for left wing Jeff Hoggan. Hoggan caught it at the blue line, broke down the ice ahead of the Wolves defense and slipped a shot past Mannino.
The Rampage took a 3-0 lead when Spina gathered the puck along the boards behind the net and passed it out to center Joel Perrault in front of the net, where the forward deflected it into the net, sending Mannino to the bench in favor of MacIntyre.
The Wolves got on the board to make the score 3-1, when center Rylan Kaip raced in and cranked a rebound up over Tordjman’s left shoulder at 16:23 of the first period.
The Wolves pulled within one, 3-2, at 10:37 of the second period. While shorthanded, Crabb carried the puck up the ice along the boards before firing a shot that skipped behind the net, where Doell collected it off the boards, moved out in front and drove a shot past Tordjman.
Tordjman (16-19-2) posted 29 saves in the loss.
Center Johnny Pohl tied the game, 3-3, at 17:37 of the second period. Pohl and Krog drove into the Rampage zone on a two-on-one breakaway. Krog slipped a pass to Pohl, who put it past Tordjman from the right face-off circle.
San Antonio 3 0 0 -- 3
Chicago 1 2 3 -- 6
First Period---1, San Antonio, Spina 5 (Schlemko), 5:17; 2, San Antonio, Hoggan 11 (Sullivan), 8:17; 3, San Antonio, Perrault 14 (Spina), 9:49 pp; 4, Chicago, Kaip 4 (Kozek, Weller), 16:23. Penalties---Bickel, San Antonio (roughing), 1:33; Doell, Chicago (roughing), 1:33; Stewart, Chicago (hooking), 9:34; Spina, San Antonio (hooking), 12:54; Krog, Chicago (hooking), 18:08; MacLean, San Antonio (slashing), 18:58.
Second Period---5, Chicago, Doell 13 (Crabb), 10:37 sh; 6, Chicago, Pohl 16 (Krog, Filangieri), 17:37. Penalties---Lessard, San Antonio (fighting, roughing), 2:49; Weller, Chicago (fighting), 2:49; Holzapfel, Chicago (interference), 10:09.
Third Period---7, Chicago, Crabb 22 (Vishnevskiy, Anderson), 0:17; 8, Chicago, Doell 14 (Machacek), 9:22; 9, Chicago, Krog 14 (Machacek), 19:06 en. Penalties---Heshka, San Antonio (hooking), 6:43; Meyer, San Antonio (holding), 10:41; Holzapfel, Chicago (tripping), 13:40.
Shots on goal---San Antonio: 12-14-8--34. Chicago: 6-17-15--38. Power plays---San Antonio: 1-4. Chicago: 0-5. Goalies---San Antonio, Tordjman (29-34), replaced by Wiikman (3-3) at 49:11. Chicago, Mannino (3-6), replaced by MacIntyre (28-28), at 9:49. A---11,321. Referee---Jamie Koharski. Linesmen---Al Stensland and Dan Cohen.