Wolves one point out of division lead after win over Admirals
BY BRIAN SANDALOW For Sun-Times Media February 16, 2014 11:00PM
Updated: February 17, 2014 2:19AM
Cody Beach and the Wolves aren’t going to lie. They look pretty closely at the standings, and right now, they should like what they see.
Jani Hakanpaa’s goal with 16:22 left in the third period was the difference in the Wolves’ 3-2 win over the Milwaukee Admirals on Sunday. Beach and Michael Davies also scored, and Jake Allen made 17 saves for the Wolves, who extended their point streak to eight games and now are within one point of Midwest Division-leading Grand Rapids, which was idle.
One reason the Wolves (29-16-4-2)
are in this position is their success against Milwaukee. Though all eight games the Wolves and Admirals have played were decided by one goal, the Wolves have won six of those meetings. And they got the victory Sunday thanks to goals 28 seconds apart early in the third.
“It’s huge to get a two-goal lead in the last period there,” Hakanpaa said. “Two quick goals got it under control there, and we battled to the end. It was a good win for us.”
Davies’ goal 2:25 into the second period tied the game at 1-1 and was the Wolves’ first on a power play against Milwaukee in 32 chances this season.
Beach gave the Wolves a 2-1 lead at the 3:10 mark of the third when he intercepted a Marek Mazanec clear in the slot and hit a semi-open net. The edge was doubled 28 seconds later when Hakanpaa’s slap shot beat Mazanec (17 saves), sending the Milwaukee goalie to the bench.
The Admirals cut the lead in half in just 29 seconds when Colton Sissons’ shot got past Allen, but the Wolves held on for a five-point weekend and a good three days in the standings.
Beach didn’t need to be told that.
“We look at the standings every day, and we know our goal is to finish first in our division and our conference,” he said. “The closer it gets the more we want it.”