ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – Andre Deveaux scored twice in the Chicago Wolves’ 5-2 victory over the Abbotsford Heat in American Hockey League action Saturday night.
Angelo Esposito, Ryan Garbutt, and Nigel Dawes also had goals for the Wolves (14-14-2), while Paul Postma had three assists.
Stefan Meyer and Greg Nemisz scored for Abbotsford (15-12-3).
Peter Mannino (9-6-0) made 29 saves in the victory.
The game was filled with 16 power plays—Abbotsford was 2-for-9 and Chicago was 3-for-8.
“It was tough to figure out what he was going to call—he’s a different bird,” said Chicago head coach Don Lever of referee David Banfield.
Chicago’s Boris Valabik received a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for getting his elbow too high up on Ryan Stone 3:33 into the second period.
“The feeling on our bench was (Stone) ran at Boris and he was just defending himself—there was no elbow,” said Lever.
On two occasions in the game Wolves players were penalized for excessive protests after a call.
Chicago opened the scoring when Andrew Kozek’s body check led to the puck squirting right to Esposito in front of the net. The former NHL first-round pick slid it under Leland Irving for just his second of the season at 9:54 of the first.
With a two-man advantage for 1:24, Deveaux scored with just one second remaining in the power play with a shot just under the glove of Irving. The goal gave him six power-play tallies on the year, second in the AHL.
Abbotsford got another power-play shortly after but Greg Nemisz was robbed by Mannino stretching across to make an acrobatic save on the Heat’s only scoring opportunity.
“I thought we played a really good first period,” said Heat head coach Jim Playfair. “The first goal they scored was a deflating goal. A poor penalty by us put us in a five-on-three situation and they scored to make it 2-0.
“I thought what happened yesterday with the coaching staff going after the referee had an influence on how the game was called. But by the end of the night we had three bad goals against and you can’t afford mental mistakes when you play four games in five nights.”
The Heat scored with 14 seconds remaining on a power play opportunity in the second, as Meyer skated down the right wing and threw the puck towards the net. With Gaelen Patterson and Josh Armstrong crashing the net the weak shot went in at 8:19, cutting the Wolves’ lead in half.
Chicago regained their two-goal cushion when Darren Haydar made a great play behind the net to get the puck onto the stick of Garbutt in the blue paint and the 25-year-old rookie scored his fifth of the year.
Chicago got their second power-play goal when Krog performed a perfect slap-pass right to the tape of Dawes at the side of the net.
Abbotsford earned a 5-on-3 power play at the end of the second period and Nemisz took a perfect cross-ice pass from T. J. Brodie to beat a sprawling Mannino for his eighth goal.
Chicago rounded-out the scoring when Deveaux picked up his second of the game, tipping a Mark Matheson point shot at 17:08.
“We have some real good players and when they’re moving they’re pretty tough to handle,” said Lever about his team’s second-ranked power play unit. “They couldn’t be as aggressive because they took a lot of penalties.”
Irving (14-8-1) made 23 stops in the loss for Abbotsford, which defeated Chicago 4-3 Friday night in overtime.