The Milwaukee Admirals answered an early Chicago Wolves goal to claim a 4-1 victory over the Wolves on Friday night at Panther Arena.
Forward Reid Duke scored for the third game in a row to pace the Wolves (11-15-2-0). Goaltender Garret Sparks rejected 28 shots against the Central Division-leading Admirals (20-4-2-2), who visit the Wolves Saturday night at Allstate Arena.
Duke gave the Wolves the lead at 11:06 of the first. Center Nicolas Roy centered a pass toward the front of the crease for forward Paul Cotter, who redirected it off the post. Duke claimed the puck near the iron, carried it through the crease toward the other post and shoved it home while Milwaukee goaltender Troy Grosenick lay helplessly on his side.
Milwaukee answered at 12:39 on Anthony Richard’s rebound. He pounced on the moving puck in the left faceoff circle and one-timed it top-shelf past Sparks.
The feverish first period ended in a 1-1 knot despite Milwaukee owning a 3-0 edge in power plays and an 18-5 advantage in shots.
The Admirals took the lead for good at 1:15 of the second on defenseman Frederic Allard’s blast from the right faceoff circle. Forward Tanner Jeannot carried the puck down the left wing toward the goal line, then spied Allard coming down the right side alone. Jeannot put his pass on Allard’s tape for the quick shot and the 2-1 lead.
Milwaukee pushed its lead to 3-1 on Tommy Novak’s backhand at 11:32 as he jumped out of the penalty box right into a 2-on-1 rush. Cole Schneider dished the puck into the middle of the ice to give Novak a chance to go one-on-one against Sparks.
The Wolves couldn’t get closer despite welcoming forwards Gage Quinney, Keegan Kolesar and Tyrell Goulbourne back into the lineup after a combined 22 games missed due to injury.
Chicago thought it pulled within 3-2 with 2:59 left when center Patrick Brown fired home a goal on the power play, but the officials waved it off immediately and signaled goaltender interference on Kolesar.
Shortly thereafter, Schneider flipped home an empty-net goal to give the Admirals a 4-1 advantage. Grosenick (10-2-2) stopped 25 shots for the win while Sparks (4-9-2) dropped his eighth decision in a row.
The Wolves return to Allstate Arena at 7 p.m. Saturday to face the Milwaukee Admirals on Star Wars Night.