Chicago (3-2) jumped out to a 3-0 lead early in the game and built a 4-1 advantage behind a season-high three power-play goals, but the Admirals responded with four unanswered tallies to steal the win and keep their season alive.
“We had complete control of them and then late in the second we started trying to do some fancy stuff and they stuck to the basics,” said Wolves Head Coach Don Lever. “We have got to play for the full 60 minutes.”
The Wolves drew first blood 53 seconds into the game with a goal from right wing Tim Stapleton. Center Jason Krog carried the puck into Milwaukee’s zone and slipped a backhanded pass to defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy, who fired a long shot from high in the zone. Center Matt Anderson attempted to tip Vishnevskiy’s shot in front of the net and was thwarted by Admirals goaltender Mark Dekanich, but Stapleton was there to knock home the rebound.
Chicago stepped ahead, 2-0, with a power-play strike at 12:18 of the first frame. Right wing Spencer Machacek won the puck along the boards in the Wolves zone, raced up the ice and attempted a shot on net. He collected his own rebound and attempted a wrap-around, which Dekanich blocked, but Greg Stewart and center Kevin Doell hacked at the rebound until Doell was able to chip it up over the netminder.
Chicago padded its lead, 3-0, with a power-play goal from right wing Joey Crabb, 55 seconds into the second period. Crabb took a pass from center Matt Anderson behind the net and bounced a shot of Dekanich’s back and into the net, sending the netminder to the bench in favor of back up Chet Pickard.
Pickard made nine saves on 10 shots in 11:48 of action, before Dekanich (2-3) returned to the crease, posting 18 saves on 21 shots in 48:12 of action overall.
Milwaukee (2-3) got on the board, 3-1, at 5:18 of the middle frame when center Mike Santorelli found Andreass Thurreson alone in the slot and he wound up and cranked a shot between Wolves goaltender Peter Mannino’s legs.
The Wolves regained the three-goal edge with a third power-play goal at 12:43 of the middle frame. Defenseman Nathan Oystrick slapped a shot at Pickard from just outside the right face-off circle and Anthony Stewart punched the rebound past the scrambling goaltender and into the net.
Milwaukee pulled to 4-2, when left wing Mark Santorelli received a pass from Mike Bartlett, broke down alone on Mannino and rifled a shot to the corner of the net at 17:12 of the second period. Fifty-eight seconds later, Ben Guite popped the rebound from an Alex Sulzer shot past Mannino to make the score 4-3 heading into the second intermission.
Mannino (3-2) posted 27 saves on 32 shots for Chicago.
The Admirals evened the score, 4-4, at 18:10 of the third period. Sulzer shipped a pass over to a streaking left wing Ryan Thang, who buried the puck in an empty net and three Wolves collapsed in front of the net.
Chris Mueller took a feed from defenseman Jon Blum at the right of the goal and ripped a shot into the empty corner of the net.
The Wolves will travel to Milwaukee for Game 6, which will take place at the Bradley Center on Fri., April 23 at 7 p.m.
Milwaukee 0 3 2 -- 5
Chicago 2 2 0 -- 4
First Period---1, Chicago, Stapleton 2 (Anderson, Vishnevskiy), 0:53; 2, Chicago, Doell 2 (G. Stewart, Machacek), 12:18 pp. Penalties---Matheson, Milwaukee (hooking), 10:21; Pohl, Chicago (high-sticking), 16:31; Guite, Milwaukee (roughing), 20:00.
Second Period---3, Chicago, Crabb 3 (Anderson, Oystrick), 0:55 pp; 4, Milwaukee, Thuresson 2 (Mi. Santorelli, Mueller), 5:18; 5, Chicago, A. Stewart 2 (Oystrick, Postma), 12:43 pp; 6, Milwaukee, Ma. Santorelli 1 (Bartlett, Yonkman), 17:12; 7, Milwaukee, Guite 2 (Maki, Sulzer), 18:10. Penalties---Kaip, Chicago (hooking), 6:49; Crabb, (holding), 7:09; Mueller, Milwaukee (tripping), 10:44; Thuresson, Milwaukee (roughing), 10:44; Anderson, Chicago (roughing), 10:44; Guite, Milwaukee (slashing), 11:07; A. Stewart, Chicago (goaltender interference), 12:43.
Third Period---8, Milwaukee, Thang 1 (Sulzer, Blum), 10:53; 9, Milwaukee, Mueller 2 (Blum, Sulzer), 18:05 pp. Penalties---Van Guilder, Milwaukee (tripping), 7:11; Krog, Chicago (tripping), 17:09; Machacek, Chicago (tripping), 19:40.
Shots on goal---Milwaukee: 7-20-5--32. Chicago: 11-13-7--31. Power plays---Milwaukee: 1-6. Chicago: 3-5. Goalies---Milwaukee, Dekanich (18-21), 48:12, replaced by Pickard (9-10), 11:48. Chicago, Mannino (27-32). A---3,221. Referee---Ghislan Herbert. Linesmen---Brian Oliver and Bryan Pancich.