ROSEMONT, Ill.---Milwaukee produced a pair of power-play goals in the second period to fuel a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Wolves Sunday afternoon in an Amtrak Rivalry game at Allstate Arena.
Defenseman Kevin Connauton scored the lone goal for the Wolves (30-23-5-4), who have dropped five of their last six games. Milwaukee also snapped Chicago’s three-year reign as Amtrak Rivalry champs with its seventh win in this season’s 12-game series.
“We were missing some key skill players tonight, but we got everything we could from those guys,” said Wolves head coach Scott Arniel. “We just haven’t been able to put pucks in the net these past two games.”
Milwaukee (33-24-4-3) opened the scoring at 16:01 of the first period when center Craig Smith intercepted a Wolves clearing pass along the side boards and fed the puck to left wing Brad Winchester skating alone in the slot. Winchester charged in and chipped a shot past Wolves goaltender Joe Cannata for a 1-0 lead.
The Admirals pushed their margin to 2-0 on Smith’s power-play goal at 1:28 of the second. Defenseman Joe Piskula started the tic-tac-toe play with a feed from the near point to Jason Shalla in the slot. Shalla found Smith at the bottom of the near circle for a snapper past Cannata.
Connauton sliced the margin to 2-1 at 13:41 of the second when he launched a slap shot from the far point. The puck whizzed past Milwaukee goaltender Jeremy Smith’s glove with help from a screen by left wing Bill Sweatt. Darren Haydar and Eric Kattelus earned assists on the play.
Milwaukee reclaimed its two-goal margin on Austin Watson’s power-play goal at 17:56. Mattias Ekholm ripped a shot from the far point into traffic that banked off Watson’s hip into the net. The Admirals added an empty-net goal with six seconds left as Michael Latta banked the puck off a Wolves defender’s shin across the goal line.
Jeremy Smith (18-19-3) registered 19 saves to pick up the win. Cannata (6-5-0) stopped 34 of 37 shots.
The Wolves continue their Spring Break homestand with a 7 p.m. game Wednesday against Oklahoma City at Allstate Arena. For tickets, call 1-800-THE-WOLVES or visit ChicagoWolves.com.
Milwaukee 1 2 1 -- 4
Chicago 0 1 0 -- 1
First Period---1, Milwaukee, Winchester 8 (C. Smith), 16:01. Penalties: Latta, Milwaukee (fighting), 3:05; Desbiens, Chicago (fighting), 3:05; DiDiomete, Chicago (fighting), 3:05; Liambas, Milwaukee (fighting), 3:05; Kattelus, Chicago (tripping), 7:34; Vandermeer, Chicago (high-sticking), 18:07; Lain, Chicago (holding) 20:00.
Second Period---2, Milwaukee, C. Smith 1 (Shalla, Piskula), 1:28 pp; 3, Chicago, Connauton 6 (Haydar, Kattelus), 13:41; 4, Milwaukee, Watson 18 (Ekholm, Piskula), 17:56. Penalties---Jarvinen, Milwaukee (interference), 3:06; Winchester, Milwaukee (hooking), 8:41; Blain, Chicago (double minor high-sticking), 14:21.
Third Period---5, Milwaukee, Latta 7 (unassisted), 19:53 en. Penalties---Vandermeer, Chicago (interference), 2:47; Ekholm, Milwaukee (high-sticking), 4:45; Piskula, Milwaukee (cross-checking), 6:00; Liambas, Milwaukee (roughing), 9:13; Vandermeer, Chicago (roughing), 9:13; Davies, Chicago (misconduct), 19:53.
Shots on goal---Milwaukee: 15-10-13—38; Chicago: 6-7-7—20. Power plays---Milwaukee 2-6; Chicago 0-4. Goalies—Milwaukee, J. Smith (19-20); Chicago, Cannata (34-37). A---9,876. Referees---Trent Knorr and Tim Mayer. Linesmen---Aaron Mills and Alex Stagnone.