ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Chicago Wolves opened the 2015-16 season with a jolt as they scored three power-play goals in the first period to trigger a 5-1 win over the Milwaukee Admirals Saturday night in an Amtrak Rivalry clash at Allstate Arena. Forwards Magnus Paajarvi, Pat Cannone and Ty Rattie produced power-play goals in a 10-minute, 20-second stretch of the first as the Wolves (1-0-0-0) seized control of their 22nd season opener.
Rattie added another power-play goal in the second period, defenseman Andre Benoit notched 3 assists, and goaltender Jordan Binnington posted 16 saves in the Wolves’ highest-scoring season opener since a 5-0 win over Peoria in 2006.
Chicago’s 4 power-play goals were the team’s most since tallying 5 on Nov. 27, 2010, against Grand Rapids.
“We worked on it for the last three days, so I’m glad we had some chances,” said Wolves head coach John Anderson. “We had a couple fortunate bounces, too, where they tried to clear it and we knocked it down, but you always have to have a few breaks to score on the power play.”
The Wolves opened the scoring on their first power play of the season as Paajarvi sliced through the slot and redirected Benoit’s quick pass from the right faceoff dot at 5:48 of the first period. Defenseman Peter Harrold added an assist from the point as the Wolves took a 1-0 lead.
Milwaukee evened the score on the Wolves’ next power play as center Vladislav Kamenev delivered a shorthanded goal on a wrist shot from the right circle at 9:04.
The Admirals drew penalties throughout the first period and Chicago made them pay with Cannone’s power-play goal during a 5-on-3 advantage at 12:15. Paajarvi slid a pass across the crease to Cannone at the bottom of the left circle and Milwaukee goaltender Juuse Saros had no chance to slide from post to post in time to make the save.
The Wolves notched their third power-play goal of the period at 16:08 when Rattie flipped one home from the bottom of the left circle on feeds from Zach O’Brien and Chris Butler.
Rattie delivered his second power-play goal at 6:28 of the second. Benoit found him uncovered just outside the crease, so Rattie took time to measure his shot and slid the puck between Saros’ skates to make it 4-1.
The Wolves boosted their lead to 5-1 with one second left in the second period. Jason Doty set up in front of Saros and tipped Benoit’s shot from the left boards.
Binnington (1-0-0) extended his career mark against Milwaukee to 8-0-0. Saros (0-1-0) stopped 32 of 37 shots in his North American debut.
The Wolves return to Allstate Arena next weekend when they host the Texas Stars at 7 p.m. Friday and the Charlotte Checkers at 7 p.m. Saturday. To find the best specials on group outings and Flex Packs, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
WOLVES 5, ADMIRALS 1
Milwaukee 1 0 0 — 1
Chicago 3 2 0 — 5
First Period—1, Chicago, Paajarvi 1 (Benoit, Harrold), 5:48 pp; 2, Milwaukee, Kamenev 1 (unassisted), 9:04 sh; 3, Chicago, Cannone 1 (Paajarvi, Rattie), 12:50 pp; 4, Chicago, Rattie 1 (O’Brien, Butler), 16:08 pp. Penalties—Nakyva, Milwaukee (tripping), 4:48; Diaby, Milwaukee (roughing, 10-minute misconduct), 7:12; Sissons, Milwaukee (roughing), 7:12; Beach, Chicago (roughing); Aberg, Milwaukee (slashing), 11:45; Girard, Milwaukee (delay of game), 12:00; Murphy, Milwaukee (hooking), 15:34; Doty, Chicago (fighting), 18:25; Bass, Milwaukee (fighting), 18:25.
Second Period—5, Chicago, Rattie 2 (Benoit), 6:28 pp; 6, Chicago, Doty 1 (Benoit, Barbashev), 19:59. Penalties—Kamenev, Milwaukee (tripping), 5:28; Beach, Chicago (boarding), 6:58.
Third Period—None. Penalties—Vannelli, Chicago (cross-checking), 5:30; Fiala, Milwaukee (tripping), 10:07; Caron, Chicago (hooking), 18:37.
Shots on goal—Milwaukee 9-3-5—17; Chicago 10-12-15—37. Power plays—Milwaukee 0-3; Chicago 4-7. Goalies—Milwaukee, Saros (32-37); Chicago, Binnington (16-17). Referees—Shaun Davis and Peter Tarnaris. Linesmen—Ryan Daisy and Al Stensland.