Defenseman Jake Walman‘s second-period goal stood as the game-winner as the Chicago Wolves earned a 4-2 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals Sunday afternoon at Allstate Arena.
Forwards Bean Bennett, Tobias Lindberg and Paul Thompson also scored for Chicago (11-12-4-1), which won its fifth game in nine days. Goaltender Max Lagace (5-2-0) made 33 saves for his fifth win in a Wolves sweater.
“I give our guys a lot of credit,” said Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson. “They’ve maintained composure throughout games. They’re starting to believe in themselves and each other — and that’s a huge and powerful weapon.”
It took time for the Wolves to seize control Sunday. Milwaukee (13-12-2-0) opened scoring at 6:54 as Derek Army’s initial shot from the right wing hit the post and kicked out directly to P.C. Labrie, who charged up the slot for a one-time chance that found twine.
Just 1:24 after Walman hit the crossbar – the tally was reviewed and waved off – he blasted a shot from the left point and Milwaukee goaltender Jake Paterson (0-1-0) made the initial save that triggered a net-front scramble. Center Brandon Pirri attempted a shot but was denied and, immediately following, Bennett wrangled the puck and shot it behind Paterson. It bounced off his backside and into the net for the 1-1 equalizer at 13:53.
At 7:43 of the second period, the Wolves rushed the Milwaukee net and Lindberg whacked a bouncing puck into the back of the net for the 2-1 go-ahead goal.
Walman earned his second point of the night, a goal, just 1:12 after Lindberg’s tally. Center Wade Megan protected the puck along the right boards where he left it for Walman, who picked up it and carried to the faceoff dot before expelling a shot for Chicago’s third goal of the game.
Milwaukee cut the lead to 3-2 at 13:09 of the third. After struggling to enter the offensive zone, the Admirals finally broke through. Center Emil Pettersson followed the play to the net and knocked in a rebound.
Moments after Paterson went to the bench for an extra attacker, Wolves captain Paul Thompson shot the puck from the Wolves zone into the empty net for the 4-2 final score. Paterson stopped 34 shots in his season debut.
The Wolves continue game action on Thursday, Dec. 21, in a School Day contest against the Grand Rapids Griffins. Puck drop is set for 11 a.m. and the game will stream on AHLLive.com.