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Wolves Top Admirals 5-3

December 18, 2022

The Chicago Wolves defeated the Milwaukee Admirals 5-3 on Sunday afternoon at Allstate Arena to conclude a stretch of three games in four days.

Noel Gunler scored twice while Brendan Perlini, Dylan Coghlan and Jamieson Rees also had goals as the Wolves won their second game in a row. Vasily Ponomarev and Malte Stromwall each recorded two assists and goaltender Zachary Sawchenko stopped 22 shots to secure the victory.

“I feel like we’ve been working hard all season but the pucks have been bouncing against us a little bit,” Gunler said. “We had two really good games this weekend so hopefully we can build on this.”

Perlini opened the scoring on the power play, wristing a shot under the glove of Admirals goaltender Devin Cooley following a cross-ice pass from Ponomarev for his seventh goal of the season.

Perlini is now tied with Ponomarev for the Wolves’ lead in goals and has sole possession of the Wolves’ lead in power-play markers with five.

With the Wolves on another power play, Sawchenko made a point-blank stop on the Admirals’ Tim Schaller late in the opening period, preserving the Wolves’ 1-0 lead.

With the play going the other direction, Stromwall took a pass from Nathan Sucese behind the net and found Gunler on the right hashmarks. Gunler then beat a diving Cooley for a 2-0 lead that the Wolves took into the first intermission.

“Like the team, I’ve been working hard all season and haven’t really been able to put the puck in the net as much as I want to so it feels great to get two (Sunday),” Gunler said. “Hopefully, I can get some confidence in that.”

The two power-play goals marked the second time this season the Wolves had multiple power-play tallies (two in Rockford on Oct. 22). It was the first time this season the Wolves scored two power-play goals in the same period.

Chicago kept the pressure going in the early stages of the second, increasing the lead to 3-0 on a Coghlan one-timer from the point off a pass from Ponomarev. Coghlan’s shot went through traffic and eluded Cooley past his glove hand.

The goal marked Coghlan’s second since joining the Wolves on a conditioning assignment from the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Admirals cut the deficit to two off a goal from Zach Sanford and the score remained unchanged heading into the third period.

Rees scored his fifth goal of the season — and Sunday’s eventual game-winner — on a breakaway with a backhand deke that had Cooley going the other direction.

Later, Schaller made it 4-2 off a giveaway but Gunler sealed the victory with an empty-netter from behind his own blueline for his third score of the season. The Admirals’ Keaton Thompson scored with 21 seconds remaining for the final margin.

Cooley made 19 saves in the loss for Milwaukee, its fourth in a row to drop to 15-9-0-2 on the season.

The Wolves now sit 8-13-2-0 heading to a stretch of three games in three days beginning Wednesday in Milwaukee.

Up next: The Wolves will visit the Admirals on Wednesday at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena (7 p.m. AHLTV).

For information on Wolves ticket plans for the 2022-23 season — everything from single-game tickets to Flex Packs to group outings — visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.