ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - Chicago goalie Eddie Lack won some favour with the crowd Friday — even though the Wolves were on the road.
Lack made 27 saves to lead the Wolves to a 3-2 shootout win over the Abbotsford Heat on Friday. But one stop in particular brought on chants of "Eddie, Eddie, Eddie" from fans at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.
"That was the first time (my name has been chanted), so it was pretty special," said Lack.
The Vancouver Canucks, Chicago's NHL parent club, play just an hour down away from Abbotsford so though the Wolves were in a visiting arena, Lack's clutch breakaway save off the Heat's Roman Horak in the final two minutes of regulation was cheered.
"It's 2-2 in the third so it's a big momentum switch if they score there," said Lack. "I had to come up big for my team, so I did.
"Then they came up big for me in the shootout."
Lack then stopped all three Heat skaters in the shootout and Jordon Schroeder, Darren Haydar and Zack Kassian beat Abbotsford goalie Danny Taylor, helping the Wolves (4-0-0) maintain a perfect start to the AHL season.
"For Eddie, it was really good that he got tested," said Chicago head coach Scott Arniel. "That breakaway in the third period was huge. He's a battler and he made some key stops when we needed them."
Kassian also scored in regulation, while Nathan Longpre also found the back of the net.
Tyler Ruegsegger and Roman Horak scored for Abbotsford (2-0-1).
Kassian's goal opened the scoring at 9:45 of the second period. Andrew Ebbett chipped the puck past two defencemen right to Kassian on the left boards. He broke hard to the net and beat Taylor with a high wristshot for his second goal of the season.
"I had a lot of speed and (Ebbett) made a great pass," said Kassian. "We kind of caught the D flat-footed, I went in and had a good shot."
After ending the season on Vancouver's fourth line and seeing limited action in the playoffs, Kassian is getting a chance to hone his offensive skills during the NHL lockout.
"I've seen it in spurts…but not like that for three periods where he dominated," said Arniel. "He gets a lot of room. People don't really want to go into the corners when he's out there. He showed his skill too with the goal and the one in the shootout. That's a power forward game.
"That is the best game I've seen him play."
Ruegsegger tied it for the Heat with a power-play goal at 2:06 of the third period, deflecting a Krys Kolanos point shot for his first AHL goal.
Longpre put Chicago back in front at 3:55 of the third, cashing in a rebound for his third of the season.
However, the Heat tied it with another power-play goal at just over a minute later when Horak redirected a Ben Walter shot, giving him three goals on the season.
With Abbotsford pressing, Lack came up big, stopping the offensively gifted Sven Baertschi with eight minutes to go and then Horak.
"For the first two periods they pretty much controlled the game," said Abbotsford defenceman Steve McCarthy. "We bounced back in the third but at the end of the day I don't think we deserved to win the game."
Taylor made 29 saves for the Heat.