The Chicago Wolves reeled off three goals in a 93-second stretch during the first period to set the tone for a 6-1 triumph over the Milwaukee Admirals Saturday night at Allstate Arena.
Forwards David Gust, Stefan Noesen, Maxim Letunov, Andrew Poturalski, C.J. Smith, Stelio Mattheos scored for the Wolves (2-1-0-0) as they knocked off their Central Division rivals for the second night in a row.
“When we play together and we play the right way, the offense is going to come,” said Wolves head coach Ryan Warsofsky. “We’ve done a good job of that the last two nights. Even though it was 6-0 there, we wanted to keep playing with our identity and our competitiveness and our consistency.”
The game featured the first woman referee in Wolves history. Lake Forest resident Samantha Hiller, one of 10 female officials the American Hockey League hired this season, made her AHL debut Saturday night — one week after Katie Guay became the first woman to officiate an AHL or NHL contest.
Gust, an Orland Park native, opened the scoring at 16:46 of the first when he found himself open near the left corner between the goal line and circle. He rifled a rising wrister from a sharp angle that beat Milwaukee goaltender Devin Cooley over his right shoulder. Rookie defenseman Artyom Serikov, a 20-year-old Russia native, earned his first North American professional point with the primary assist.
The Wolves boosted their lead to 2-0 at 17:52 when Noesen camped in front of Cooley and had perfect position to knock home the rebound after Cooley blocked defenseman Cavan Fitzgerald’s shot from the point.
Letunov completed the Wolves’ first-period spree at 18:19 with his first goal for the team. Spencer Smallman accepted a pass in the left circle from Sam Miletic. When Cooley turned toward Smallman and dropped to the ice, Smallman slipped the puck to Letunov in the slot so he could hit the open net.
Poturalski, the Wolves captain, pushed the lead to 4-0 at 4:47 of the second when the AHL’s 2021 scoring champion snapped a shot from the top of the right circle for a power-play goal.
Mattheos produced his first goal of the season at 1:09 of the third to stake Chicago to a 5-0 margin. He swatted home a rebound moments after Wolves forward Jack Drury appeared to rip a one-timer across the goal line.
Smith added his team-high third goal of the season when he swept a Poturalski pass into the net from just outside the crease.
Milwaukee (1-2-0-0) picked up its lone goal on Joseph LaBate’s tally with 1:09 remaining in regulation. Alex Lyon (1-1-0) rejected 17 shots to earn the win.
Cooley (1-2-0) stopped nine of 13 shots before being replaced after Poturalski’s second-period goal. Parker Gahagen posted 22 saves in relief.
The Wolves start a three-game road trip at Grand Rapids on Wednesday, but return to Allstate Arena on Saturday, Nov. 6, to host Manitoba because Saturday is Hockey Night in Chicago. To get the best tickets for any of the Wolves’ seven November home games, contact a Wolves ticket representative here or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.