Wolves spank Peoria 4-2

A chastened Chicago Wolves handed the Peoria Rivermen a 4-2 drubbing Sunday afternoon at the Allstate Arena. It was the fourth straight loss on the road for the Peoria hockey club, which has had only one victory this season versus Chicago.

Chicago dominated the first frame of the game, putting 18 shots on goal, a season high for the Peoria team, while facing just 8 from the Rivermen. Chris Beckford-Tseu turned aside all the shots, and stymied two Chicago power plays in the period to keep Peoria in the game, including a disputed puck that hit the padding material just inside the net, but never completely crossed the goal line.

In the second frame, with the score tied 0-0, Peoria put 17 shots on Chicago netminder Fred Brathwaite, compared to just nine Chicago shots on goal. But it was Chicago that drew first blood as Joey Crabb earned his seventh goal of the season. Crabb took a feed off of Guillaume Desbiens, raced through the slot and shot past Beckford-Tseu. Just 65 seconds later Darren Haydar, Jason Krog and Brett Sterling created a three on one. Haydar dumped the puck to Krog who tapped it to Sterling in the circle. Sterling fired it into the pads of Beckford-Tseu. However, Sterling stayed with it and popped it in for a 2-0 lead. It was his 46th goal of the season, leading the AHL in goals scored and rookie goals scored.

Niko Dimitrakos received a pass from Jordan LaVallee for a shot past Beckford-Tseu’s glove for a 3-0 lead. However Peoria began fighting back when Cory Larose mishandled a puck in the defensive zone, it was picked up by Rivermen Charles Linglet and Yan Stasny before Michael Glumac, in the scrum, put it in, ending the period Wolves 3, Rivermen 1.

Peoria scored four minutes into the final period when Stasny put one in just under the crossbar to bring the Rivermen within one. Colin Stuart replied at 8.21 into the period to put the game away at 4-2.

Beckford-Tseu received the loss with 32 saves. Brathwaite received the win with 31 saves.

Earlier in the weekend, the Wolves fumbled a first-period lead and lost 6-4 to the
the Milwaukee Admirals.

Admiral Chris Durno scored a hat trick and teammate Kim Staal scored two goals during the Saturday night. Wolf Niko Dimitrakos netted two pucks in the first period of the game.

The first period was dominated by Chicago as Dimitrakos scored the first goal, followed by a power play goal by Brett Sterling and the second goal by Dimitrakos. With just 1.06 left in the period the Admirals went on the power play. Pat Leahy passed a shot to Nolan Yonkman at the point. Yonkman’s slapshot was deflected past Garnett by Chris Durno. Chicago had eight shots first period on goalie Pekka Rinne compared to just five for the Admirals on Michael Garnett.

The Wolves continued their undisciplined play into the second period, and Milwaukee continued to take advantage of it, a second power play goal by Durno in the second period and Staal’s first goal of the night evened the score up at 3-3 early in the third period.

Milwaukee goals by Bracken Kearns and Staal’s second goal, this time on the power play, put the game out of reach for the Wolves at 5-3. A Chicago goal by Kevin Doell made the score 5-4 late in the final period. Then the Wolves pulled Garnett with the puck still in the defensive zone. A behind the net pass by Mark Popovic went terribly astray and ended on the stick of Leahy who passed it to Durno in front of the crease for the empty net light.

The Wolves had 23 minutes of penalties, including one five minute major, allowing the Admirals eight man advantages, including one three man advantage that they scored on. Milwaukee was three for eight in power plays in the evening. Chicago had four power plays, scoring on one.

Rinne earned the win with 24 saves, his ninth win of the year. Garnett had the loss, though much of it can be attributed to lack of discipline on the part of his teammates. He stopped 25 shots. The Wolves hung on to first place with just one point between them and the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights. Milwaukee, in a tight race for third place held their position.

Rinne has started for the Admirals in nine of the last ten games, winning six, losing one in overtime. Milwaukee is the first team in the Western Division to force a losing series on the Wolves, who are now 2-3-1 against the Admirals. Two key Admirals were not on the ice for the game: Ramzi Abid and Rich Peverly, who were recalled by Atlanta on the fourth.