ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Wolves netted five third-period goals – five skaters recorded multiple points – en route to a 8-4 Amtrak Rivalry victory over the division-leading Milwaukee Admirals on Thursday night at Allstate Arena.
Centers Bryce Gervais and Ivan Barbashev each tallied two goals, and Kenny Agostino dished three assists to help the Wolves (14-11-3-2) to their second consecutive victory over the Admirals (17-7-2-1).
Wolves netminder Pheonix Copley (8-6-3) turned aside 30 shots for his eighth win of the season.
“I thought the guys were focused tonight all game,” said Wolves head coach Craig Berube. “I thought (Brett) Sterling, (Bryce) Gervais, (Mackenzie) MacEachern, Scooter Vaughan, (Justin) Selman all played a huge role tonight. They skated well. They were on top of people, on top of the puck.”
The Admirals got on the board first just 1:20 into the opening frame. The Wolves won a defensive-zone faceoff, but Reid Boucher blocked a clearing attempt and lasered a slot shot past Copley for the 1-0 lead.
Just 1:26 later, part-time forward Vaughan tallied when the Wolves flipped the puck into the Admirals zone. Near the left-side wall, Agostino backhanded a pass into the slot for a rushing Vaughan and an easy wrist-shot chance to tie the contest.
On the power play, the Wolves took the lead at 8:12 of the session when a Vince Dunn point shot trickled past Admirals netminder Marek Mazanec (5-3-1) and stopped just short of crossing the goal line. However, left wing Jordan Caron pounced on the puck and shoved it into the back of the net for the 2-1 go-ahead goal.
Chicago kept pressuring and at 15:47 of the first frame, Barbashev potted his ninth goal of the season, chipping the puck over Mazanec amid a net-front scramble.
In the second period, Milwaukee netted a pair of goals to pull even, 3-3, as Alexandre Carrier and Frederick Gaudreau found the back of the net.
However, the Wolves came out with jump in the final frame and collected two goals in the opening seven minutes of the stanza. At 4:06, Barbashev capitalized on an Admirals turnover and wired a shot down the middle of the slot to put the Wolves back on top, 4-3.
Rookie wing Mackenzie MacEachern flipped a backhander past Mazanec for an insurance marker just 2:38 later.
The Admirals answered at 9:24 of the frame as Trevor Smith notched his ninth goal of the year – and third against the Wolves in the season series – to get Milwaukee back within a goal.
Chicago came right back and Brett Sterling fed Gervais a cross-slot pass for an easy tap-in tally and the 6-4 lead at 10:18.
In the final two minutes, the Wolves tallied back-to-back empty-net goals from Jordan Schmaltz and Gervais for the 8-4 final score.
Admirals goaltender Mazanec made 26 saves in the loss.
The Wolves and Admirals face off again in Amtrak Rivalry action after the holiday break on Dec. 26 at UWM Panther Arena. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m., and the game will stream live on AHLLive.com.
Chicago and Milwaukee will compete again in the next Wolves home game at 7 p.m. on Dec. 30 at Allstate Arena. For tickets or for complete 2016-17 game and broadcast schedules, visit ChicagoWolves.com.