After picking up just three points out of a possible six, the Chicago Wolves entered the week of Jan. 7 with just two games on the slate—both against the Abbotsford Heat (Calgary Flames' farm team). It was the first week since rosters league-wide had been picked clean in preparation for the return of NHL.
The Heat began the season as one of the top teams in the West but have since faded. Despite slipping in the standings, they still entered the week far ahead of the 12th place Wolves.
Friday, Jan. 11: Chicago vs. Abbotsford
The first period on Friday night was an exciting one, with all four goals of the game coming in the frame. Abbotsford broke the ice with a power play goal from Ben Walter.
Then came the Brett Sterling show.
Sterling tied the game on the power play just over halfway through the period, adding two more in the next eight minutes to complete the natural hat trick, which gave the Wolves a 3-1 lead and proved to be the final.
Wolves' defenseman Brad Hunt received the third star of the game, assisting on Sterling's first two goals. Matt Climie received the second star after saving 26 of the 27 shots he faced. The first star was shockingly awarded to Sterling, who put forth a mediocre (sarcasm) performance.
Saturday, Jan 12: Chicago vs. Abbotsford
On Saturday, the Heat set out for redemption at home against the Wolves. Despite being outworked in the first, the Wolves went to the dressing room up one off of a goal from Andrew Gordon.
Much like Friday, the Wolves were victorious in this bout due to the performance of one individual; although this time it was Matt Climie. The Heat were unable to put one past Climie, even though they out-shot Chicago 30-15 in the game.
Climie and Gordon deservedly received the first and second stars of the game, while the third was awarded to Joe Callahan of Abbotsford.
Although Chicago was victorious this week it was unable to move up in the standings, still finding itself cemented in 12th place in the West.
With the two losses, the Heat (who were once atop the Western Conference) are now in eighth place after just two wins in the past 10 games.
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