Wolves win easy, breathe easy after Blues’ big trade

Written By By BRIAN SANDALOW For Sun-Times Media Posted: 04/02/2014, 06:18am

February was memorable for the Wolves and they ended the month in style.

Now they hope to get through March intact.

Boosted by a four-goal second period, the Wolves beat the Rochester Americans 6-2 on Friday night. Shane Harper scored the first of his two goals during the second period and Alexandre Bolduc, Christian Hanson and Mark Cundari also connected during the middle 20 minutes.

Harper and Sebastian Wannstrom added third-period goals and Jake Allen ended the night with 22 saves to tie for the league lead with 24 wins, helping the Wolves (32-17-4-2) win their third in a row and run their home points streak to 16 games.

The win was also the Wolves’ season-high eighth of the month, a month that saw them go 8-1-2-0 and get back into the Midwest Division race behind leader Grand Rapids. With seven home games, the Wolves saw February as a great chance to gain ground.

They took advantage.

“At the start of the season we weren’t playing very well at home, but now I think we’re really confident here,” Harper said. “We enjoy playing at home and I think it shows in our record.”

Perhaps more importantly, the Wolves made it through Friday with their roster untouched.

Earlier in the day, the Wolves’ parent-club St. Louis Blues made a blockbuster deal. They sent goalie Jaroslav Halak, forward Chris Stewart, prospect William Carrier and two picks to the Buffalo Sabres for goalie Ryan Miller and forward Steve Ott.

Not involved were any current Wolves, which means they have to only sweat until Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline. Already without Dmitrij Jaskin due to his call-up earlier this week, Wolves coach John Anderson is hoping he won’t lose anybody to deals permanently.

“Hopefully they’re done, but you never know,” Anderson said. “St. Louis has a great chance to win. If they can make the team better it is what it is. We just have to pick up the pieces after it.”

Word of the deal started filtering out about 90 minutes before Friday’s game. And when it was announced that no Wolves were heading to Buffalo, Harper said “everybody was really happy.”

“I was real happy nothing happened because there was rumors something might,” Harper said. “I was really happy nothing did.”

The Wolves are idle Saturday before hosting Iowa at 3 p.m. Sunday.

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