Wolves claw past Ads in decisive game

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Chicago scored twice in a span of 1:28 during the first period and held on for a 2-1 win over Milwaukee on Monday in Game 7 of the teams’ first-round playoff series.

The Wolves, who moved to 6-0 in winner-take-all playoff games since joining the AHL in 2001-02, advance to face Texas in the West Division Finals, beginning on Friday at Allstate Arena.

Anthony Stewart tallied his third goal of the playoffs 12:29 into the first period to give Chicago a 1-0 lead, with Joey Crabb earning the lone assist on the play.

It didn’t stay 1-0 for long, as Kevin Doell buried his third of the postseason at 13:57 to extend the Wolves’ advantage. Spencer Machacek and Riley Holzapfel each picked up helpers, with Holzapfel recording his first point of the series.

Marty Murray brought the Admirals within 2-1 when he scored on the power play 3:01 into the second period, as defensemen Alexander Sulzer and Jonathon Blum assisted on the play.

But neither team scored the rest of the way, and Doell’s first-period tally proved to be the game-winner, his second decisive goal of the series.

The Wovles’ defensive pair of veteran Chris Chelios and youngster Arturs Kulda, which combined for a plus-81 rating in the regular season, was on the ice for both Chicago goals.

Chicago held an impressive 37-15 edge in shots on goal, and Wolves goaltender Peter Mannino only had to make 14 stops to pick up the victory in net. Admirals counterpart Mark Dekanich took the loss despite stopping 35 of 37 shots.

The Admirals were eliminated from the playoffs in a Game 7 for the second consecutive spring. In 2009, Milwaukee dropped the decisive game of the division finals to Houston on home ice.

Chicago, which won the Calder Cup in 2002 and 2008, has still never suffered a first-round ouster in the AHL playoffs.

West Division Finals – Series “L” (best-of-7)
W1-Chicago Wolves vs. W2-Texas Stars
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 30 – Texas at Chicago, 8:30
Game 2 – Sun., May 2 – Texas at Chicago, 4:00
Game 3 – Tue., May 4 – Chicago at Texas, 8:30
Game 4 – Wed., May 5 – Chicago at Texas, 8:30
*Game 5 – Fri., May 7 – Chicago at Texas, 8:30
*Game 6 – Sun., May 9 – Texas at Chicago, 4:00
*Game 7 – Tue., May 11 – Texas at Chicago, 8:00