ROSEMONT, Illinois – Justin Crandall’s first American Hockey League goal made the difference as the Chicago Wolves earned a 2-1 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals on Saturday night in an Amtrak Rivalry game at Allstate Arena.
The 23-year-old Crandall, who signed with the Wolves on Friday, lofted a nifty backhander top-shelf at 5:07 of the third period to pick up the game-winning goal. Center Pat Cannone also scored for the Wolves (25-25-3-2), who responded after falling at Milwaukee on Friday night.
“This is a big opportunity for (Crandall),” said Wolves head coach John Anderson. “God bless him, he took advantage of it. We’ll keep him here as long as he keeps doing well.”
Milwaukee (33-18-3-0) got on the board 14 seconds into the second period on Colton Sissons’ quick backhander from just outside the crease. Max Reinhart fed Sissons in stride as he drove toward the net.
Cannone, the Wolves captain, responded at the 2:00 mark of the second. He controlled the puck in the neutral zone, raced into the high slot and launched a blast under goaltender Marek Mazanec’s glove for his team-high 20th goal of the year.
Crandall produced the winner at 5:07 of the third. Yannick Veilleux sent the puck below the goal line to Evan Trupp, who dished a backhand pass to Crandall coming down the slot. Crandall paused just outside the crease and lifted a backhand over Mazanec’s right shoulder to give the Wolves a 2-1 edge.
The Admirals pulled Mazanec with 1:29 to play and launched a late assault, but Wolves goaltender Jordan Binnington (12-12-3) was equal to the task. He finished with 26 saves. Mazanec (16-12-3) posted 30 saves.
The Wolves wrap up their three-in-three weekend with a 3 p.m. game Sunday at Grand Rapids. The team returns to Allstate Arena on Sunday, March 6, to face Milwaukee. To find the best deals on group tickets, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
WOLVES 2, ADMIRALS 1
Milwaukee 0 1 0 — 1
Chicago 0 1 1 — 2
First Period—None. Penalties—Oligny, Milwaukee (interference), 14:16; Petrecki, Chicago (unsportsmanlike conduct, fighting), 16:24; Devane, Milwaukee (unsportsmanlike conduct, fighting), 16:24.
Second Period—1, Milwaukee, Sissons 8 (Reinhart), 0:14; 2, Chicago, Cannone 20 (Benoit), 2:00. Penalties—Aronson, Milwaukee (hooking), 4:16; Oligny, Milwaukee (cross-checking), 11:38; Vaughan, Chicago (roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct), 12:24; Clark, Chicago (fighting), 20:00; Oligny, Milwaukee (fighting), 20:00.
Third Period—3, Chicago, Crandall 1 (Trupp, Veilleux), 5:07. Penalties—Fiala, Milwaukee (high-sticking), 1:42.
Shots on goal—Milwaukee 4-11-12—27; Chicago 12-10-10—32. Power plays—Milwaukee 0-2; Chicago 0-4. Goalies—Milwaukee, Mazanec (30-32); Chicago, Binnington (26-27). Referees—Ryan Hersey and Jarrod Ragusin. Linesmen—Ryan Daisy and William Hancock.