Leivo nets hat trick as Wolves advance

Photo: Ross Dettman

The Chicago Wolves are off to the Western Conference Finals following a 5-1 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Friday night.

The Wolves won the series, three games to one.

Josh Leivo scored two power-play goals before adding an empty-netter late to lead Chicago to the conference finals for the sixth time since joining the AHL (2002, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2019, 2022). The veteran forward finished with 10 points in the series, and is tied for the league lead with 13 points (6-7-13) this postseason.

Max Lajoie opened the scoring 3:56 into the game as he came out of the penalty box and joined a rush, took a pass from Vasili Ponomarev and scored on the first shot of the night for either team.

Leivo made it 2-0 at 11:02, and Josh Jacobs tallied his first career postseason goal at 17:18 to give the Wolves a three-goal cushion at intermission.

Leivo potted his fourth goal of the series just 61 seconds into the second period to make it 4-0, and capped his third career AHL hat trick ― and first since Mar. 8, 2014 ― by hitting the empty net with 2:07 remaining.

Alex Lyon (6-1) made 17 saves to record the win in net, as Chicago finished the night with a 31-18 shots advantage.

Cole Schneider scored the only goal for Milwaukee in Game 4. Devin Cooley (3-2) recorded 26 saves.

Central Division Finals (best-of-5)
C1-Chicago Wolves vs. C3-Milwaukee Admirals
Game 1 – Sat., May 21 – CHICAGO 6, Milwaukee 2
Game 2 – Sun., May 22 – CHICAGO 8, Milwaukee 2
Game 3 – Wed., May 25 – MILWAUKEE 4, Chicago 2
Game 4 – Fri., May 27 – Chicago 5, MILWAUKEE 1