Dec. 6, 2017
ROSEMONT, Ill. – Beau Bennett scored a goal, Kevin Lough recorded two assists and Kasimir Kaskisuo (3-7-2) made 14 saves as the Chicago Wolves defeated the Gulls 3-1 at Allstate Arena. The first-ever meeting between the clubs would be a disappointing one for San Diego as the primary affiliate of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights got the better of them on a Wednesday night to snap a seven-game win streak for the Gulls against Central Division opponents.
The game started off with some fireworks for right wing Corey Tropp who returned to the lineup after a 15 game absence due to a lower-body injury when he was called to answer for a hit just 50 seconds into the contest. He dropped the gloves and exchanged pleasantries in a bout with Wolves defenseman Chris Casto.
The Gulls picked up some momentum to start the second period after killing off the carryover time on a Jordan Samuels-Thomas double-minor for high-sticking. San Diego was unable to sustain the momentum for long though, as Chicago put a flurry of shots towards Gulls goaltender Kevin Boyle (5-6-1). Despite a series of saves, Boyle was unable to corral a rebound and Tyler Wong batted it home at 4:34 to give the Wolves a 1-0 lead at 4:34 of the second period.
It would be another rebound that hurt the Gulls just a few minutes later when Jake Walman fired a puck from the top of the left point following a turnover and California native Beau Bennett converted on the juicy rebound at 7:31 to double the Chicago lead.
Ivan Barbashev put a severe damper on any hopes for a Gulls comeback at 10:57 when his wrist shot found its way under the crossbar after gathering his own rebound off a blocked shot. The three goals proved enough but not before San Diego made the contest a little nervy at the end for the Wolves.
Scott Sabourin banked one in off Kaskisuo to put San Diego on the board with just over four minutes remaining to extend his point streak to three games (1-2=3), but his tally would prove too little, too late as time would run out on the hopes of a comeback.
A lone bright spot for the Gulls was their previously struggling penalty kill, with the unit killing a perfect four penalties on the night.
The Gulls will complete their season-long five-game road trip Saturday in Des Moines when they take on the Iowa Wild at Wells Fargo Arena (5 p.m., ESPN 1700-AM).
1. B. Bennett (CHI)
2. K. Kaskisuo (CHI)
3. K. Lough (CHI)