ROSEMONT, Ill.---The Chicago Wolves fell behind early and never recovered as the Milwaukee Admirals slipped by for a 3-1 victory in an Amtrak Rivalry matchup at the Allstate Arena Friday night.
Defenseman Arturs Kulda’s second-period tally was the only goal for Chicago (32-25-2-4), which was handed its first regulation loss in four games despite outshooting the Admirals 43 to 19.
“We saw another goaltender steal a game,” said Wolves Head Coach Don Lever. “They got a couple on us that are the type of goals we can’t give up this time of year, but we couldn’t put the puck past him, he put on a very good performance.”
Milwaukee (35-16-4-7) lit the lamp first, 3:01 into the first period. Defenseman Grant Lewis pulled Wolves goaltender Peter Mannino out of position with an initial shot that banked off the left post and left wing Connor Shields was there to shovel it into the empty net.
The Admirals wasted no time pushing their lead to 2-0, in the second period, burying a goal 27 seconds into the frame. Lewis took a shot from near the blueline and left wing Ryan Thang was parked at the top of the crease to push the rebound past Mannino.
Kulda narrowed the score to 2-1, 12:02 into the second period when his long blast from the blueline went zinging through traffic and past Admirals netminder Mark Dekanich.
Dekanich (22-9-5) turned aside 42 shots to lift Milwaukee to victory.
Milwaukee regained a two goal lead, 3-1, 3:42 into the third period when defenseman Patrick Coulombe ripped a shot past Mannino from the right circle.
Mannino (15-15-3) posted 16 saves for the Wolves.
The Wolves will head to Carver Arena for a matchup with the Peoria Rivermen on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Milwaukee 1 1 1 -- 3
Chicago 0 1 0 -- 1
First Period---1, Milwaukee, Shields 1 (Lewis, McBride), 3:01. Penalties---Bartlett, Milwaukee (slashing), 5:23; Palin, Milwaukee (holding the stick), 10:14; Thuresson, Milwaukee (instigating, fighting, misconduct), 16:03; Kozek, Chicago (boarding major, fighting), 16:03.
Second Period---2, Milwaukee, Thang 10 (Lewis, Mueller), 0:27 pp; 3, Chicago, Kulda 4 (Garbutt, Haydar), 12:02. Penalties---Wilson, Milwaukee (fighting), 3:29; Brennan, Chicago (fighting), 3:29; Begin, Milwaukee (roughing), 4:43; Deveaux, Chicago (goaltender interference), 4:43; Machacek, Chicago (roughing), 4:43; Bench, Chicago (too many men), 9:32
Third Period---4, Milwaukee, Coulombe 1 (unassisted), 3:42. Penalties---Thang, Milwaukee (high-sticking), 1:08; Van Guilder, Milwaukee (interference), 6:24; Welch, Chicago (hooking), 18:31; Flynn, Milwaukee (fighting), 20:00; Deveaux, Chicago (fighting, roughing), 20:00.
Shots on goal---Milwaukee: 10-6-3--19. Chicago: 12-19-12--43. Power plays---Milwaukee: 1-5. Chicago: 0-4. Goalies---Milwaukee, Dekanich (42-43). Chicago, Mannino (16-19). A---6,925. Referee---Jean Herbert. Linesmen---Mike Hamilton and Al Stensland.