Rumors heating up about Wolves switching from Canucks to Blues
BY BILL HARRISON For Sun-Times Media March 30, 2013 10:46PM
Updated: May 1, 2013 4:03PM
Amid rumors of an affiliation switch from the Vancouver Canucks to the St. Louis Blues, the Wolves played the Milwaukee Admirals for the 10th time Saturday night.
The Admirals scored twice in the third period to escape Allstate Arena with a 4-3 victory. The Wolves (32-24-5-4) have never missed the playoffs but fell a point behind the last playoff spot in the Western Conference with 11 games left, three at home.
“[Playoff standings] change every night,” Wolves coach Scott Arniel said. “You don’t worry about that until the end of the year.”
The Admirals broke a 2-2 tie in the third period on goals by Austin Watson, his second, and Juuso Puustinen. Watson got credit for a goal off the skate of Wolves defenseman Jeremie Blain at 7:25. Wolves defenseman Mark Matheson made it 4-3 at 19:07.
The first period ended in a 1-1 tie on goals by Watson and Darren Haydar, who also had an assist. The Admirals (34-25-4-3) regained the lead on a goal by Daniel Bang at 7:38 of the second period. Wolves defenseman Kevin Connauton answered with a goal at the 15:27 mark.
At 19:19 in the second period, Admirals defenseman Scott Ford punched winger Guillaume Desbiens in the back of the head after a hard check. Desbiens was motionless on his stomach for several minutes but would return.
‘‘I blacked out a little bit but felt good enough to play in the third,” Desbiens said.
The Wolves outshot the Admirals 28-17. Matt Climie (19-20-3) had 13 saves for the Wolves.
After the Blues announced Friday that they were buying out the lease from the Peoria Civic Center and are expected to sell the Rivermen to the Canucks, rumors cropped up that the Wolves would join up with the Blues.
Wolves public-relations director Lindsey Willhite didn’t confirm anything and said the team could wind up affiliated with one of several NHL franchises.
The Wolves are in the last year of a two-year contract with the Canucks.