If the Wolves have learned anything from playing the Milwaukee Admirals this season, it’s that they know their matchups will result in close games and, more often than not, a victory.
Cody Beach and Jani Hakanpaa scored third-period goals 28 seconds apart and the Wolves held on for a 3-2 victory Sunday at Allstate Arena. The Wolves (29-16-4-2) beat the Admirals for the sixth time in eight games this season. All eight games have been decided by one goal.
“These games with Milwaukee and Rockford are always going to be tight games. It’s just the nature of the beast,” Wolves coach John Anderson said. “It’s good because it makes you understand what a tight game is (going to be) like in the playoffs.”
The victory extended the Wolves’ point streak to eight games as they improved to 11-0-2-0 in their last 13 home games. It also moved them one point behind the Grand Rapids Griffins for the Midwest Division lead.
Tied 1-1 after two periods, the Wolves appeared to seize control when Beach and Hakanpaa connected within the first four minutes of the third.
Beach intercepted a bad clearing attempt from behind the net by Admirals goalie Marek Mazanec. Beach gained control of the puck and shot it into the open net before Mazanec could recover.
“I’ll take them any way I can,” said Beach, who has two goals and five points in 22 games. “Hopefully they come more often.”
Fewer than 30 seconds later, Hakanpaa picked up his third goal of the season, and first since Dec. 13. Hakanpaa skated down the right side and beat Mazanec with a slap shot.
“It’s one of my strengths,” Hakanpaa said. “I just have to use it more and find the net more with it so good things will happen.”
The Admirals answered Hakanpaa’s goal 29 seconds later when Colton Sissons beat Jake Allen with a floater from the slot. Allen finished with 17 saves in earning his AHL-best 22nd victory.
Michael Davies snapped the Wolves’ 0-for-31 power-play drought against the Admirals early in the second period with his fourth goal, tying it 1-1.