Chicago (48-24-1-6) clinched their third West Division title with Texas’ loss to Rockford. The Wolves are guaranteed home ice throughout the first two rounds of the playoffs. The team will open postseason play on Wed., April 14 when they host Milwaukee in Game 1 of the West Division Semifinal.
Center Mike Santorelli put Milwaukee (41-29-2-7) on board 4:48 into the opening frame. Center Dave Scatchard sent Santorelli a pass in the slot, and Santorelli skated across the zone, pulled the puck to his backhand and shot it up and under Wolves netminder Peter Mannino’s blocker, near-post.
Defenseman Alexander Sulzer gave the Admirals a two-goal lead at 16:26 of the first period. Off of a faceoff, center Marty Murray dropped the puck back to Sulzer, who ripped a shot through traffic that found the back of the net past a screened Mannino.
With 28 seconds remaining in the period, Murray netted Milwaukee’s third goal of the night. Defenseman Teemu Laasko took a hard shot from the point that went just wide, careened off the boards and came out on the other side of the net, where Murray was waiting to shoot the puck into the open goal.
Milwaukee pushed their lead to 4-0 at 11:33 of the second period. Santorelli passed the puck across the zone and Laasko picked up the puck off the boards and took a shot on a hard angle that hit off Mannino’s blocker and into the net.
Scatchard made their lead five with 3:44 remaining in the second. Scatchard picked up the puck off a turnover and sent a quick wrister that beat Mannino, glove-side.
Mannino (25-5-1) recorded 16 saves before being replaced by Drew MacIntyre, who stopped five of eight shots, to begin the third period.
Center Kevin Doell put the Wolves on board 52 seconds later. Right wing Spencer Machacek passed the puck out in front of the net and center Riley Holzapfel flipped the puck to Doell who finished off the play by beating Admirals goaltender Mark Dekanich, near-post.
Dekanich (27-16-4) turned aside 23 of the 24 shots he faced in the winning effort.
Scatchard netted his second goal of the game to make it 6-1 on the power play at 5:19 of the third when he skated into the crease and slipped the puck under MacIntyre’s five-hole.
Scatchard struck again at 8:56 of the final stanza. Center Van Guilder picked up the puck on a Wolves turnover and sent a centering pass to Scatchard in the slot, who completed his hat trick with a hard shot along the ice that went through MacIntyre’s pads and he added his fourth goal of the game at 18:01 to close out the scoring.
The Wolves conclude their regular-schedule schedule against the Grand Rapids Griffins at the Allstate Arena tomorrow, April 10, at 7 p.m.
Chicago 0 1 0 -- 0
Milwaukee 3 2 3 -- 8
First Period---1, Milwaukee, Santorelli 26 (Scatchard, Blum), 4:48; 2, Milwaukee, Sulzer 7 (Murray), 16:26; 3, Milwaukee, Murray 15 (Laasko, Jessiman), 19:32. Penalties---None.
Second Period---4, Milwaukee, Laasko 4 (Santorelli, Sulzer), 11:33; 5, Milwaukee, Scatchard 17 (Thang), 16:16; 6, Chicago, Doell 15 (Holzapfel, Machacek), 17:08. Penalties---Doell, Chicago (roughing), 9:37; Dietrich, Milwaukee (roughing), 9:37; Weller, Chicago (interference), 12:13.
Third Period---7, Milwaukee, Scatchard 18 (Thuresson, Dietrich), 5:19 pp; 8, Milwaukee, Scatchard 19 (Van Guilder), 8:56; 9, Milwaukee, Scatchard 20 (Thuresson, Grant), 18:01. Penalties---Holzapfel, Chicago (interference), 4:51; G. Stewart, Chicago (fighting), 6:18; Grant, Milwaukee (fighting), 6:18; Grant, Milwaukee (cross-checking), 15:51.
Shots on goal---Chicago: 9-8-7--24. Milwaukee: 9-12-8--29. Power plays---Chicago: 0-1. Milwaukee: 1-2. Goalies--Chicago, Mannino (16-21) replaced by MacIntyre (5-8) at 40:00. Milwaukee, Dekanich (23-24). A---9,791. Referee---Jeff Smith. Linesmen---Judson Ritter and Dan Cohen.