The Calder Cup Playoffs could not be going any better for the Chicago Wolves. After a commanding sweep in the Central Division Semifinals, the Wolves have taken command of their Central Division Final series against the Milwaukee Admirals. After games one and two this weekend, the Wolves have the 2-0 series lead.
Saturday’s game started off with a bang, while Sunday’s game was arguably more dominant. While hard to believe, the Wolves managed 14 goals over the two games compared to just four from the visiting Admirals.
Saturday, May 21 – Game One: Wolves 6, Admirals 2
As mentioned, Saturday’s win was impressive. An early goal from rookie Jack Drury in the first 32 seconds of the game started the series off right for Chicago. Although the next goal was potted by Milwaukee’s Cole Schneider, Chicago scored three times in the middle frame to take a commanding lead.
The league’s leading scorer continues his run of terror in the playoffs. The leading scorer as of Monday in the Calder Cup playoffs has 11 points in eight games. Poturalski currently has nine points following Sunday’s win in just… five games.
Saturday’s third period resembled that of the second. After an early Milwaukee tally, the Wolves struck back by adding another goal roughly 30 seconds after the Admirals’ goal. Thanks to Stelio Mattheos’ marker, the Wolves added a Drury empty-net goal to finish off game one with a final score of 6-2.
Worth noting, Alex Lyon was sensational for the Wolves on Saturday. After facing 35 shots, Lyon stopped 33 pucks.
Sunday, May 22 – Game Two: Wolves 8, Admirals 2
Following a throttling on Saturday night, the Admirals were back at Allstate Arena for a Sunday afternoon tilt with the Wolves in game two. The Wolves’ momentum rolled over from Saturday into Sunday with an insane offensive explosion.
Just over four minutes into the contest, Orland Park native David Gust tallied his second goal of the playoffs. Although the next tally was of the Milwaukee variety, the Wolves responded with two late goals from Gust once again and captain Poturalski to extend the lead before intermission.
Despite a strong first period, the Wolves stepped it up in the second. Five unanswered goals essentially put the game out of reach. Max Lajoie, C.J. Smith, and a hat trick from Stefan Noesen carried the Wolves to an 8-1 lead at the second break. The Admrials added early in the third period, but it didn’t matter. Ultimately, another great performance from the team and goaltender Alex Lyon secured the 2-0 series lead.
Time and time again, hockey fans witness teams get hot at the right time. Although the best team in the AHL all season, the Wolves seem to be playing their best hockey when it matters most. With plenty of championship pedigree on both the roster and the coaching staff, this team is built to win when it matters most in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
As of now, the Wolves have scored 28 goals in just five playoff games thus far. Only the Colorado Eagles have scored more goals during this playoff run. The offense is clicking, the defense is playing strong, and the goaltending has been superb thus far. Whether it’s the Rockford IceHogs or the Milwaukee Admirals (through two games), it appears there is no one that can stop the Wolves.
The Wolves need just one more victory to officially capture the Central Division Final and advance to the Western Conference Final. The Wolves will play the winner of the Colorado Eagles/Stockton Heat series. Their first game is set to take place on Monday, May 23.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Wolves have a chance to end the series on Wednesday, May 25. Game three is in Milwaukee and puck drop is slated for 7:00 p.m. CDT. If the Wolves do not win, game four is scheduled for Friday, May 27 with an if-necessary game five slated for Sunday, May 29 at Allstate Arena.
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