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Wolves Claim Another Close One Over Milwaukee

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Chicago Wolves (Photos by Ross Dettman/Chicago Wolves)

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Rosemont, Ill. — In another tight battle, the Chicago Wolves avenged Saturday’s overtime loss to the Milwaukee Admirals with a 3-2 win over the Midwest Division foe in an Amtrak Rivalry game on Sunday afternoon at Allstate Arena.

Right wings Michael Davies (G, A) and Cody Beach and defenseman Jani Hakanpaa scored for the Wolves (29-16-4-2) while defenseman Evan Oberg dished out two 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 Admirals this season have been decided by one goal — but the Wolves have emerged triumphant six times.

“It will always be tough sledding against Milwaukee,” said Wolves head coach John Anderson. “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 three shots in the opening frame, the Admirals (23-16-6-5) opened 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 towards 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 frame, the Wolves added two markers in 28 seconds to take a two-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 tally 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 six saves in relief.

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