ROSEMONT, Ill. — The Chicago Wolves tied the score late in the third, but Milwaukee grabbed the overtime winner to earn the extra point in a 2-1 Amtrak Rivalry contest Saturday night before 15,719 fans at the Allstate Arena.
Forward Anton Rodin scored the lone goal for Chicago, which captured the Amtrak Rivalry trophy despite the loss. The Wolves earned 14 points in the 12-game series to the Admirals’ 12. Right wing Darren Haydar was named the Amtrak Rivalry MVP after posting 13 points (5G, 8A) in 11 games against the Admirals this year.
“They took it to us pretty hard in the second and my expectation was to push back in the third, and we did,” said Wolves head coach Craig MacTavish. “It is never fun to lose, but I hope we gave the big crowd some entertainment.”
The Admirals bagged the game-winner at 3:21 of overtime. Defenseman Jonathan Blum stripped a Wolves skater at the blue line and skated in on Chicago goaltender Eddie Lack with center Chris Mueller on a two-on-zero break. Blum slipped the puck from the near circle over to Mueller, who hammered home the game-winner.
After a scoreless first period, Milwaukee (39-29-2-5) opened scoring at the 15:27 mark of the middle frame. The Admirals skated in the Wolves zone on a three-on-two break and right wing Ryan Thang’s pass attempt from the near circle was redirected off a Wolves defenseman’s stick and over the shoulder of goaltender Eddie Lack.
Lack (21-20-3) kicked out 28 of 30 shots in regulation and overtime.
Chicago (41-27-4-3) knotted the score at one with 6:33 remaining in the third period when Rodin controlled the puck in the far circle and snapped a quick wrister that sailed under the bar and over the glove of Milwaukee netminder Jeremy Smith.
Smith (30-19-2) posted 22 saves.
The Wolves wrap up their 18th regular season when they host the Peoria Rivermen in an Illinois Lottery Cup contest at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Allstate Arena. Chicago opens the 2012 Calder Cup playoffs next week against an opponent still to be determined.
Milwaukee 0 1 0 1 — 2
Chicago 0 0 1 0 — 1
First Period—None. Penalties—Laakso, Milwaukee (interference), 10:59; Matson, Chicago (tripping), 13:16; Valentine, Milwaukee (interference), 16:44.
Second Period—1, Milwaukee, Thang 16 (Blum), 15:27. Penalties—Dupont, Milwaukee (fighting), 16:27; Clackson, Chicago (instigating, fighting, misconduct), 16:27.
Third Period—2, Chicago, Rodin 10 (Haydar, Lack), 13:27. Penalties—Henry, Chicago (goaltender interference), 5:39.
Overtime—3, Milwaukee, Mueller 32 (Blum), 3:21. Penalties—None.
Shots on goal—Milwaukee: 7-14-7-2–30. Chicago: 10-5-8-0–23. Power plays—Milwaukee: 0-3; Chicago: 0-2. Goalies—Milwaukee, Smith (22-23). Chicago, Lack (28-30). A—15,719. Referee—Graham Skilliter. Linesmen—Mathieu Chenier and Peter Cichy.