Wolves cruise into Abby, mostly cruise to a win

Patrick Johnston
January 25 2012 04:59PM

With the Wolves boxing out like this, it's no surprise the Heat had a such a struggle getting to the net
(Photo: Jesse Winter)

Switching up the lines in an old coaching tactic, and sometimes it actually works. Tuesday night in Abbotsford was one of those nights, as Wolves coach Craig MacTavish split up groupings of players he'd been leaning on all season. The new combinations he found worked to great effect in a 3-2 win for the Chicago Wolves over the hometown Abbotsford Heat.

The one pairing MacTavish kept together - Steve Reinprecht and Mark Mancari - teamed with new line mate Anton Rodin to record all three Wolves goals. Reinprecht scored two in the first to lead the way and Mancari scored on a laser of a wrist shot. Both came off of three-way passing plays. Tim Miller set up Mancari's goal up off a rush as well, dropping the puck at the top of the right circle.


Did Adam Polasek ask to borrow a name?
(Photo: Jesse Winter)

Adam Polasek and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond faced off in a scrap full of hay-makers, and altough Polasek looked to have landed more punches, he came away bloodied when PL3 landed a late upcut. Polasek played the rest of the game with a face shield.

Matt Climie was very solid in the Wolves net, giving the Heat little to shoot at for most of the game. The two goals which beat him came from scrambles. Ben Walter scored a power play goal when Krys Kolanos deflected shot caromed off the end boards from the left side boards. The puck bounced out to the right of the net and Walter found the net from a tight angle. 

Just prior to the Walter goal, Jordan Schroeder used his speed to create a breakaway for himself but the puck appeared to roll on him and he didn't get a clean shot off.

The second goal was a seeing-eye shot from the top of the slot by Carter Bancks. The puck had fallen to Yann Sauve in the faceoff circle but he couldn't handle it and Bancks fired a shot towards the net. Climie never really found the puck and it was in the net before he knew what had happened.


Cool as a cucumber
(Photo: Jesse Winter)

Shots were 35-32 for the Heat, but the Wolves did a very good job of keeping Abbotsford to the outside for much of the game and the few close-in chances, Climie calmly stopped.

GAME NOTES

The veterans all showed their skill. It's clear that Reinprecht and Mancari have experience at a higher level, they think the game that much quicker than their competitors...Of the younger Wolves players, Tim Miller played a very solid game. He used his size well and was a good distributor of the puck...Kevin Connauton, as usual, has a great presence in the offensive zone and not a problem in his own end...Billy Sweatt brought great energy to his line...Darren Haydar nearly set up Yann Sauve when the defender jumped into the rush in the first - Heat goalie Danny Taylor made the stop, but the puck popped up in the air and nearly bounced off his back, into the net...Antoine Roussel and Mike Davies didn't see much ice time - the top 3 lines were leaned on quite heavily...Jordan Schroeder didn't appear on the score sheet but played in all situations, accumulating more than 20 minutes of ice time...Mike Duco saw time on the first unit power play...despite good puck movement with the man advantage, the Wolves still could find the back of the net, going 0 for 5...Abbotsford was 1 for 8 on the powerplay.

LINES FOR THE NIGHT

Rodin Reinprecht Mancari
Sweatt Longpre Haydar
Miller Schroeder Bitz
Duco Roussel Davies
     
Connauton Tanev  
Matheson Baumgartner  
Sauve Polasek  

 

 

 

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Patrick Johnston is a Vancouver journalist. In addition to regular contributions here at Canucks Army, his work has appeared in The Province, Hockey Now and on the CBC. Check out his blog and other writing at http://johnstonwrites.wordpress.com or follow him on twitter: @risingaction
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#1 John Cullen
January 25 2012, 07:22PM
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Nice recap, Patrick. Valuable for all those who want to know what Canucks prospects are up to!

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#2 Marda Miller
January 25 2012, 08:31PM
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Bummed that I missed the Wolves game while they were here; it would have been great to see the future Canucks play. Thanks for the recap Patrick :)

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