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Overtime loss to rival Admirals is no big deal to Wolves

Updated: May 16, 2012 8:29AM

With the Midwest Division crown and third place in the Western Conference wrapped up, Wolves coach Craig MacTavish’s main goal over for the remainder of the regular season is to keep his team sharp and healthy heading into the playoffs.

Despite a 2-1 overtime loss to the Milwaukee Admirals at Allstate Arena on Saturday night, he was successful both ­endeavors.

The Wolves came out flat through the first two periods and allowed the Admirals’ Ryan Thang to score when his shot deflected off the stick of defender Jordan Henry at 15:27 in the second period.

The hosts responded in the third, when Anton Rodin scored at 13:27, giving MacTavish no reason for concern with only one regular-season game remaining. Admirals center Chris Mueller hammered home the game-winner at 3:21 of overtime at the end of a 2-on-1 break.

“My expectation was that we’d have some push back in the third and we did,” MacTavish said. “We had a really good crowd tonight so we wanted to have some jam and make some entertainment out of it. The guys played much harder in the third period, shortened the bench a bit. Some guys weren’t that interested in playing from the get-go, but they got engaged in the third period.”

The Wolves rested forward Mark Mancari, center Steve Reinprecht and defenseman Nolan Baumgartner, who normally log a lot of ice time. MacTavish hoped to limit the ice time of some other players, but competitiveness kicked in when the game went into overtime.

“I’d like to play some of the guys not as much, but you get competitive out there,” MacTavish said. “It’s never is any fun to lose. We sat out a lot of guys who are normally pretty good players. If anything, what I take out of this game is that we’ve got some pretty good depth.”

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