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Wolves finally get depth scoring but can’t complete comeback against Admirals

Jack LaFontaine is still looking for his first win after the Wolves split a pair of games in Milwaukee

Photos: Ross Dettman/Chicago Wolves

Game 39: Wolves 1, Admirals 0

The Milwaukee Admirals came into Friday’s game on a seven-game winning streak, one where they outscored their opponents 22 to six in that span. The Admirals boasted four shutouts, including two straight in their games leading up to the match against the Wolves. While the Admirals struggled uncharacteristically to start the season, Admirals goaltender Connor Ingram had a 191 minute, 49 second shutout streak going until CJ Smith scored in the first period.

That goal was enough to win the game, as Alex Lyon stopped everything he faced. The Wolves once again were excellent in minimizing the number of shots faced. The Admirals were limited to 19 total shots, including just five in a crucial third period. After pulling Ingram with 2:33 left, the Wolves only allowed two shots to get to Lyon.

Jack Drury finished the game with a team-high six shots on goal, including this breakaway attempt that was stopped:

This was Lyon’s third shutout of the season and the Wolves’ seventh overall (including the 1-0 shoot-out loss against the Rockford IceHogs last week, which does indeed count as both a shutout and a loss).

Scoring: CJ Smith, 1 G; Jalen Chatfield, 1 A; Jack Drury, 1 A

In net: Alex Lyon, saved 19 of 19, 1.000 Sv%

Game 40: Wolves 5, Admirals 7

Sometimes, one goal is enough to win you a game. And sometimes, scoring five doesn’t even get you close to the finish line. In yet another “tale of two Wolves” set of games, the Wolves found themselves behind by a score of 5-1 at the end of the first period, which is generally enough for fans of any team to pack it in and get ready for the next game. The flurry of first period goals was also enough to end Jack LaFontaine’s night early, getting the hook after the Admirals’ fourth goal 14:42 in the first.

The Wolves attempted a comeback, at one point drawing within one goal, thanks to a shorthanded goal from Jalen Chatfield in the third period. Chatfield was the recipient of an excellent pass from Stefan Noesen, and both avoided a sliding Admirals player who tried to block the pass and shot.

Last week in the comments to the Wolves review, I pointed out several Wolves players who needed to step up in terms of offense, given that the team was struggling for goals from anyone outside of the Poturalski/Noesen/Smith trio. This game delivered on that, with five different goal-scorers and several players breaking lengthy scoreless streaks. Ryan Suzuki scored his second goal of the season and his first since returning from injury. (Suzuki’s only other goal came in the season’s first game.)

This game marked the first time the Wolves lost to the Admirals this season; the current record is 7-1-0-0 in favor of Chicago. This was the eleventh consecutive game where the Wolves had a perfect penalty kill, and was the ninth game of their last ten where they outshot their opponent. (The tenth game featured both teams with identical shot counts.)

Scoring: Jalen Chatfield, 1 G, 1 A; CJ Smith, 1 G, 1 A; David Gust, 1 G, 1 A; Jesper Sellgren, 1 G, 1 A; Ryan Suzuki, 1 G; Max Lajoie, 2 A; Maxim Letunov, 1 A; Andrew Poturalski, 1 A; Stefan Noesen, 1 A; Jamieson Rees, 1 A

In net: Jack LaFontaine, saved 7 of 11, 0.636 Sv%; Alex Lyon, saved 11 of 13, 0.846 Sv%