Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Brett Sterling's Natural Hat Trick Leads Chicago Wolves over Abbotsford Heat 3-1

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Brett Sterling's Natural Hat Trick Leads Chicago Wolves over Abbotsford Heat 3-1

Article excerpt

Sterling's hat trick leads Wolves over Heat

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ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - The Chicago Wolves' lineup may have been depleted Friday night, but they had plenty of fight left as the NHL training camps loom.

With seven key players called up for the Vancouver Canucks' camp expected to start Sunday, veteran Brett Sterling made an argument to join them, scoring three times in just over eight minutes in the first period to lead the Wolves to a 3-1 win over the Abbotsford Heat in the American Hockey League.

"Our team, with a lot of new guys in the lineup, we were able to battle and play a great team game tonight," said Sterling, who now has 13 goals and 13 assists to lead Chicago in scoring.

Chicago goaltender Matt Clime said players who don't usually see a lot of ice time stepped up in a big way.

"With having bodies out of the lineup, it gives a chance for younger guys to step up and it's a good opportunity to play a lot more minutes," he said. "Sometimes teams play more desperate when they know that everyone has to pull their weight when we don't have the guns in the lineup."

That desperation was not lost on the opposition.

"Usually a wounded dog hunts best -- that's life," said Heat head coach Troy Ward. "They were more wounded than we were, and I thought they played with a little better desperation. We're going to have our nights where we'll beat people. We just didn't play that well."

Brad Hunt had two assists for Chicago (16-12-5), now 3-1-1 in its past five.

Clime stopped 26 shots to get the win, keeping the Wolves in the game when the Heat did generate scoring chances. He has started 15 of the last 16 games for Chicago with No. 1 goalie Eddie Lack nursing a sore groin.

"You watch some of the saves (Clime) made, those were highlight-reel saves," said Sterling. "Hopefully we see a couple on (TV). That stick save and everything. He kept us in that game early. Making those saves, that's what we needed, getting them at the right time. It could have been 3-2 or 3-3.

"He played unbelievable."

Ben Walter scored for Abbotsford (17-11-7). Leland Irving made just seven saves in the first period before being replaced by Danny Taylor, who made 20 stops the rest of the way. …

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