Forward Stefan Matteau collected three goals to lead the Chicago Wolves to a 4-1 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals Friday night at Allstate Arena. The win pushed Chicago’s franchise-record home win streak to 11 games.
“Stef is an offensive player. He’s dangerous,” said Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson. “He’s played good games before, but this is one of those nights where he really stepped up.”
Captain Paul Thompson netted Chicago’s fourth goal — an empty-netter — with 17 seconds left in the game.
The Wolves (23-15-6-2) opened scoring at 13:03 of the first frame when T.J. Tynan zipped up the right wing in the neutral zone and flipped a pass to Matteau on the opposite side. Matteau strolled into the Admirals (21-19-4-0) zone, bobbed between two Milwaukee defenders and blistered a wrist shot in the top-right corner for the 1-0 lead.
In the second session, Matteau extended Chicago’s lead to 2-0 at 11:58 when he got behind an Admirals defender at the Wolves blue line for a breakaway up the left wing. Anders Lindback (18-11-3) made the initial save, but Matteau followed up and chipped the rebound over Lindback.
Just 2:33 later on a failed clearing attempt by Milwaukee, Beau Bennett collected the puck in the right offensive corner and dished it to Matteau. Matteau snapped a shot from low in the same-side circle for his third consecutive goal of the game.
The Admirals managed to get on the board with just 55 seconds left to play in the middle period. From inside the left circle while falling to the ice, P.C. Labrie took a shot that fluttered over two skaters and goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo (11-10-2) to cut Chicago’s lead to 3-1.
While the Wolves were skating in the final 17 seconds with a man advantage, the Admirals pulled their netminder for an extra attacker. Deep in the Milwaukee zone, Thompson gathered the loose puck and tucked it into an empty net for the 4-1 final score.
Kaskisuo stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced for his 11th win of the season while Lindback made 29 saves in the loss.
The Wolves and Rockford IceHogs face off in an Illinois Lottery Cup contest on Saturday, Feb. 3, at Allstate Arena. Puck drop is 7 p.m. and the game will be televised on CW50.