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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Wolves blow 3-0 lead. Lose to Ads 5-4

The Chicago Wolves lost a first frame 3-0 advantage to lose 6-4 to the Milwaukee Admirals Saturday night at the Allstate Arena. Admiral Chris Durno scored a hat trick and teammate Kim Staal scored two goals. 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.

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