The Chicago Wolves scored three goals in a six-minute span of the third period to seize a 4-2 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals Friday night at Panther Arena.
Forwards Stefan Noesen, Andrew Poturalski and Spencer Smallman and defenseman Cavan Fitzgerald scored for the Wolves (4-1-0-0), who won their fourth in a row and assumed sole possession of first place in the AHL’s Central Division.
The Wolves scored first for the fifth game in a row as Poturalski banked a pass off the wall in the defensive zone that hit C.J. Smith in stride as he raced across the blue line. Smith carried the puck toward the left post to attract goaltender Devin Cooley’s attention, then centered a pass to Noesen in the crease for an uncontested goal at 4:43 of the first.
Meanwhile, the Admirals (1-3-0-0) didn’t register their first shot on goal until the game’s 13th minute. Milwaukee pulled into a 1-1 tie, though, after a mad scramble near the Wolves crease ended with rookie Grant Mismash’s rebound goal on the power play at 17:30 of the first.
Mismash gave Milwaukee a 2-1 lead with a breakaway goal at 11:11 of the second. The Admirals forced a turnover in the neutral zone and former Wolves forward Cody Glass sprung Mismash into the clear with a two-line pass.
The Wolves’ third-period rally began with Poturalski’s power-play blast in the final seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage. Defenseman Joey Keane spied the captain open at the bottom of the left circle and Poturalski rifled a one-timer off Cooley’s backside into the net.
Smallman gave Chicago the lead for good with his blast from the top of the left circle at 11:08. David Gust delivered the cross-ice pass that set up Smallman’s first goal of the season.
Fitzgerald added an insurance goal at 12:34 when forward Sam Miletic had space to shoot in the high slot, but tapped a short pass to his left to set up Fitzgerald’s superior opportunity in the left circle to make it 4-2.
Wolves goaltender Alex Lyon (2-1-0) parried 22 shots to earn the victory while Cooley (1-3-0) stopped 29 of 33 attempts.
The Wolves wrap up their road trip with a 3 p.m. game Sunday at Grand Rapids, then return to Allstate Arena on Saturday for Hockey Night in Chicago. To get the best seats for the Wolves’ clash with the Manitoba Moose, contact a Wolves ticket representative here or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.