MILWAUKEE – The Chicago Wolves suffered their third-straight extra time loss Friday night losing to the Milwaukee Admirals 3-2 at University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Panther Arena. The Wolves jumped out two a 2-0 lead after two periods, but could not hang on for their first victory in eight games.
Paul Thompson gave Chicago the lead 4:38 into the first as he stuffed a puck through Milwaukee goaltender Anders Lindback’s legs. His fifth goal of the season would hold as the only score of the first, as Chicago held Milwaukee off the scoreboard in the opening frame for the second-consecutive game between the two.
Mackenzie MacEachern notched his second of the season 3:32 into the second period when he redirected Jason Garrison’s shot from the point past Lindback. The Wolves would go on to register 16 shots on goal in the second, but only carry a 2-0 lead into the third due to stellar play from the Admirals’ netminder.
However, Chicago would struggle to hold the lead in the third. Milwaukee controlled the puck right off the first faceoff of the period, and it appeared it would be only a matter of time before the Admirals solved goaltender Michael Leighton.
Solve him, they would. Harry Zolnierczyk notched his seventh and eighth goals of the year 6:50 apart to tie the game at two and send it into extra time.
Chicago appeared to have all the momentum in overtime, recording chance after chance on Lindback. However, Bobby Butler skated out to a breakaway in overtime and put the puck past Leighton for the game-winner.
Friday’s overtime loss dropped the Chicago Wolves to 4-9-3-1 on the season. They have recorded a point on each of their last three games in extra time, but dropped their eighth-straight game.
Goaltender Michael Leighton seemed to be a breath of fresh air in goal for Chicago for the majority of the game, not only playing well himself but also appearing to inspire the team to play better in front of him.
Chicago’s power play was unable to convert on any of its three chances of the night. Zolnierczyk’s second goal came while the Wolves were shorthanded; the penalty kill was 2-for-3.
This team is consistently outscoring its opponents, and still has yet to squeak out a victory. Three points in three games is a good start, but they have to get wins before significant changes are made to the team.
The Chicago Wolves are home their next two games, as the in-state rival Rockford IceHogs travel to the Allstate Arena for a 7 p.m. puck drop Saturday, followed by a visit from the Iowa Wild Sunday at 3 p.m.
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