MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Austin Watson scored the Admirals first hat trick of the season, potting all three tallies in the second period, to lead the team to a 4-1 win over the Chicago Wolves in Amtrak Rivalry Action on Saturday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
The win was the third straight for Milwaukee and moved them into a tie for fifth place in the Western Conference with Abbotsford, who was idle tonight. The Ads clinched a berth in the post-season last night, their 12th straight year in the playoffs.
Watson's first two goals were almost identical. Both came on the power-play and both occurred when Vinny Saponari skated with the puck from the half wall, dished to Patrick Cehlin down to the right of the Chicago crease, who then chipped it over to Watson and he beat Wolves' goalie Matt Climie.
The first goal came at 8:50 of the second, and also triggered a launch of over 1,100 teddy bears onto the ice, and the next at 16:17. However, in between those goals the Wolves picked up a shortie by Chris Hanson with 4:19 left in the second.
Watson third goal of the night came just 1:27 after his second. Again with the Ads on the power-play, Chicago tried to clear the puck from their own zone, but it hit Watson in the shins. He collected the puck right in front of the Wolves' crease before beating Climie again.
Miikka Salomaki finished the scoring when he beat Clime over his right shoulder at 11:46 of the third.
Milwaukee's power-play finished the night 3-for-8, helping them defeat the Wolves in regulation for the first time this season.
The Admirals finish the weekend in Iowa on Sunday afternoon at 5:05 pm. Their next, and final home game of the season is next Friday, April 18th when they play host the Charlotte Checkers.