Wolves cruise past Pens, take 3-0 series lead


WILKES-BARRE, Pa. … Chicago netted five goals in a 10:59 span during the second period and cruised to a 6-1 road win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Wednesday in Game 3 of the Calder Cup Finals at Wachovia Arena.

The Wolves now own a 3-0 lead in the best-of-7 series and can capture their second AHL championship with a victory in Game 4 on Friday in Wilkes-Barre.

With his team trailing 1-0, Wolves defenseman Joel Kwiatkowski began the scoring onslaught at 5:39 of the middle stanza. It marked the seventh straight game in which Kwiatkowski notched a goal, tying the AHL’s all-time record for most consecutive games with a goal by a defenseman, previously set by Springfield’s Brian Chapman during the 1992-93 regular season.

Jesse Schultz then tallied a pair of goals to make it a 3-1 game, scoring at 8:20 and 13:38. Darren Haydar picked up an assist on Schultz’s second tally to extend his scoring streak to 11 games (4-15-19).

Just 54 seconds after that marker, Jordan LaVallee extended the lead to 4-1 with his third goal of the playoffs and second of this series, as his rebound attempt just trickled over the goal line behind Penguins goaltender John Curry.

Rookie Matt Anderson capped off the flurry at 16:38. Anderson, who posted a goal and an assist in 14 regular-season games for the Wolves, poked in the rebound of a shot by Guillaume Desbiens.

Chicago became the second team this postseason to score five goals in a period. The Penguins were the first, accomplishing it in the second period of Game 4 of the division finals against Philadelphia on May 7.

Prior to this spring, only three teams since 1999 had netted five goals in a period during a Calder Cup Playoff game. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was involved in all three of those games, as well.

Chicago’s Mike Hamilton added his first career AHL playoff tally in the third period to account for the final margin.

The Penguins initially grabbed their first lead of the series at 10:44 of the opening period, as Kurtis McLean netted his team-leading third goal of the Finals.

Wolves goaltender Ondrej Pavelec earned the victory with 24 saves on 25 shots. Curry took the loss with 19 saves, and David Brown stopped seven of eight shots in relief.