Admirals edge Wolves, 3-2

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Milwaukee Admirals defeated the Chicago Wolves 3-2 Tuesday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in a contest with huge playoff implications. Kevin Henderson netted a stunning goal in the third period that would prove to be the game winner, and fellow Admirals Zach Hamill and Joshua Shalla also tallied goals in the victory.

The result puts the Ads in an eighth place tie with the Rockford IceHogs. With the IceHogs holding the tiebreaker over Milwaukee, the Ads will look to keep the throttle down as they have three games yet to play while the IceHogs have two remaining contests. The result also distances both teams from the Wolves by two points with three games remaining in their regular season.

The Admirals took a 1-0 lead off a Zach Hamill power play goal with 9:13 elapsed in the first period. Hamill gathered a pass from Patrick Cehlin behind the goal line and was looking to pass it across the face of goal. His pass caught the skate of Chicago goalie Matt Climie and ricocheted into the back of the net to give the Ads an early lead.

The first period was firmly controlled by the Admirals who outshot the Wolves 12-3 in the first. It took until 4:40 left in the first frame before the Wolves were able to register a shot on net. The shots continued in the Ads favor in the second period as they outshot the Wolves 14-8.

Admirals forward Joshua Shalla tacked on the second goal of the game in the second period after a fantastic individual effort. Shalla stole the puck from Wolves forward Alexandre Grenier in neutral ice, leading to a quick 2-on-1 opportunity for Shalla and Cam Reid. Shalla drove at Climie and sent a wrister past him stick side to give the Ads a 2-0 lead through two periods of play.

The Admirals thought they scored their third goal with just under six minutes left in the second when Brad Winchester’s shot to the side of the net squeaked between Climie’s legs. Climie fell on the puck before the goal line and slid deep into the net. The referees did review the play, but determined that there wasn’t enough visual evidence to say the puck crossed the line.

Milwaukee got their actual third goal just 3:18 into the third period off a great individual effort by Kevin Henderson. Henderson stick handled past two Wolves defenders and, right before Chicago could close him down, he fired a high and tight shot past Climie to push the lead to 3-0.

Chicago’s Brett Sterling pulled the Wolves within two with 7:33 elapsed in the final period. Sterling was found creeping backdoor and fired a shot beating Ads goalie Magnus Hellberg stick side.

Shortly after not getting a shot on their power play attempt Chicago found the back of the net off a Bill Sweatt shot. With 6:40 left in regulation Sweatt launched a shot from the blueline and beat Hellberg glove side, bringing the Wolves within a goal.

Despite a flurry of chances for Chicago the Admirals hung on to their 3-2 lead in the final seconds of regulation.

The Admirals held the Wolves to only 17 shots compared to their 32 shots on frame.

The Admirals play their final regular season home game Friday night against the Charlotte Checkers at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.