In another tight battle, the Chicago Wolves avenged Saturday’s overtime loss to the Milwaukee Admirals with a 3-2 victory over the Midwest Division foe in an Amtrak Rivalry game Sunday afternoon at the Allstate Arena.
Right wings Michael Davies (goal, assist) and Cody Beach and defenseman Jani Hakanpaa scored for the Wolves (29-16-4-2), while defenseman Evan Oberg dished out 2 assists. Goaltender Jake Allen (22-11-2) denied 17 shots to earn his fifth win in a row.
All eight games between the Wolves and the Admirals this season have been decided by 1 goal, and the Wolves have emerged triumphant six times.
“It will always be tough sledding against Milwaukee,” Wolves coach John Anderson said. “It’s just the nature of the beast in a division game; just hang on tight and hope to come out on top.”
Despite being held to only 3 shots in the opening period, the Admirals (23-16-6-5) opened the scoring at 7:36. Right wing Vinny Saponari carried the puck up ice and passed it to left wing Miikka Salomaki, who sent it back to him in the offensive zone. Saponari cut sharply toward the net and scored top-shelf for the 1-0 lead.
The Wolves continued dominating possession into the second period and found the equalizer on the power play. Davies held the puck along the wall and made a spin move to get toward the net. His attempted pass was blocked but deflected back to him, and he slid the puck past Milwaukee goaltender Marek Mazanec at 2:25.
Three minutes into the final period, the Wolves added two markers in 28 seconds to take a 2-goal lead. Defenseman Taylor Chorney sent a long pass down the ice that was handled behind the net by Mazanec. The goaltender attempted to send the puck up the ice, but Beach intercepted it in front of the net and buried it before Mazanec could get back into position.
Just 28 seconds later, the Wolves increased their lead. Davies dropped a pass back for Hakanpaa above the faceoff circle, and the defenseman rifled a laser into the back of the net for the cushion. Mazanec (9-6-3) was then pulled in favor of Hannu Toivonen and finished with 17 saves, suffering the loss.
The goal from Hakanpaa proved to be the game-winner as the Admirals struck back at 4:07. Forward Colton Sissons corralled a bouncer in the middle of the offensive zone and sent a wobbling puck on net that evaded Allen’s glove.
Toivonen (1-0-1) made 6 saves in relief.
The Wolves return to Rockford for an Illinois Lottery Cup matchup Friday at 7 p.m. in the first game of a three-in-three weekend. The Wolves kick off a doubleheader against Abbotsford at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Allstate Arena.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.