MILWAUKEE — Austin Watson’s late goal in the third period ushered the Milwaukee Admirals to a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the Chicago Wolves Thursday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Watson scored the game-winning goal with just 1:33 left to play in the game. The play began when Taylor Beck fired a shot from the right face-off dot that was stopped by Wolves’ goalie Matt Climie. Ads forward Patrick Cehlin hacked at the rebound, but Climie was there again. However, the Chicago netminder couldn’t cover the puck and Watson pounced on it and managed to chip the puck over Climie’s shoulder.
This is the second straight Milwaukee victory where Watson came up with the game-winner.
Although Chicago more than doubled Milwaukee’s shots the Admirals managed to stick with the Wolves through a 1-1 first period. Chicago struck first when Ads defenseman Jon Blum attempted to dump the puck behind him only to have Wolves’ forward Brett Sterling intercept it and wrap around the net and pass to Andrew Gordon who was wide-open at the top of the crease to put the Wolves up 1-0 at 11:28.
At 13:26 in the first, the Admirals tied it up at one when Cehlin found Beck open at the top of the Chicago zone. Beck then chipped a pass across the ice to Victor Bartley, who tipped the puck out of mid-air and through Climie’s legs.
The Admirals closed the gap that was the shot total, but ended the second period down 3-2.
The Ads took an early lead in the second on a wild play that ended with Kevin Henderson scoring his seventh goal of the season. Bartley started the play by blocking a shot in front of goal, and then Mark Van Guilder picked up the puck and fired it ahead to Henderson in front of him. Henderson took the puck the length of the ice and shot it from Climie’s left and pushed it across the face of goal and into the net at 3:54.
However, that is where the good news ended for the second period. Chicago went on to score the final two goals of the period, the first at 7:17 and the second one at 19:51.
Chicago’s Jordan Schroeder sent a slap shot from the top of the left circle over Smith’s shoulder and into the back of the net to even the score at two. With just nine seconds before the period ended former Admiral Darren Haydar struck the back of the net off a turnover in front of goal and gave the Wovles a 3-2 lead heading into the third.
Van Guilder evened the score at three when he put the puck past Climie on a rebound off a Henderson shot 4:56 into the third period.
Along with great efforts by the goal scorers, Jeremy Smith gave a valiant effort in tonight’s contest. Despite giving up three goals for the first time since December 16th, Smith made many key saves, which allowed him to carry his winning streak to six games.
Five different Admirals posted multi-point games. Henderson, Van Guilder, and Bartley all finished with a goal and an assist, while Cehlin and Beck each collected two helpers.
The Admirals will be back at it Saturday night against the Oklahoma City Barons at 7 p.m. at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.