Makiniemi, Chicago Wolves stymie Milwaukee
Rookie goaltender rejects 41 shots in North American debut
In his North American debut, 22-year-old Finland native Eetu Makiniemi stopped 41 shots to lead the Chicago Wolves to a 3-2 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals Friday night at Panther Arena.
Forwards David Cotton and C.J. Smith and defenseman Jalen Chatfield scored for the Wolves (1-1-0-0) while captain Andrew Poturalski dished out two assists in Chicago’s first win of the year.
Cotton opened the scoring with 3:15 left in the first period. David Gust and Ryan Suzuki battled to win the puck in the corner, then Suzuki slid a short pass to Cotton at the bottom of the left circle for a one-timer that whizzed past goaltender Devin Cooley’s head for his first goal of the season.
The Wolves pushed their lead to 2-0 on Chatfield’s tally at 16:26 of the second. Chicago controlled the puck in the offensive zone for nearly a full minute, then Poturalski seized control, skated behind the net and flipped a perfect backhand pass to Chatfield at the right faceoff dot for a one-timer that picked the left corner.
The Wolves earned a crucial insurance goal with a perfect tic-tac-toe from Poturalski to rookie center Jack Drury to Smith for a power-play goal that made it 3-0 with 11:40 remaining.
Milwaukee (1-1-0-0) finally got on the board with 3:01 left in regulation on 20-year-old rookie Egor Afanasyev’s first professional goal in North America — a power-play tally that came after the Admirals pulled their goalie to have a 6-on-4 advantage. Milwaukee’s Matt Tennyson converted another 6-on-4 advantage with 11 seconds to go.
Admirals goaltender Devin Cooley (1-1-0), who made his AHL debut with the Wolves last season, stopped 28 of 31 shots in the loss.
Saturday is Hockey Night in Chicago, which means the Wolves are hosting a rematch with Milwaukee at 7 p.m. Saturday at Allstate Arena. To get the best seats for Breast Cancer Awareness Night benefiting A Silver Lining Foundation, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
WOLVES 3, ADMIRALS 2
Chicago 1 1 1 — 3
Milwaukee 0 0 2 — 2
First Period—1, Chicago, Cotton 1 (Suzuki, Gust), 16:45.
Penalties—Allard, Milwaukee (cross-checking), 3:15; McLain, Milwaukee (hooking), 7:11.
Second Period—2, Chicago, Chatfield 1 (Poturalski, Noesen), 16:26.
Penalties—Mattheos, Chicago (hooking), 0:49; Donovan, Milwaukee (hooking), 9:45.
Third Period—3, Chicago, Smith 2 (Drury, Poturalski), 8:20 pp; 4, Milwaukee, Afanasyev 1 (Farrance), 16:59 pp; 5, Milwaukee, Tennyson 1 (McCarron), 19:49 pp.
Penalties—Sellgren, Chicago (holding), 2:42; McLain, Milwaukee (high-sticking), 5:00; Luff, Milwaukee (tripping), 8:12; Chatfield, Chicago (elbowing), 15:30; Cotton, Chicago (hooking), 18:15.
Shots on goal—Chicago 10-10-11—31; Milwaukee 13-14-14—41. Power plays—Chicago 1-5; Milwaukee 2-4. Goalies—Chicago, Makiniemi (41-43); Milwaukee, Cooley (28-31). Referees—Jordan Samuels-Thomas and Peter Tarnaris. Linesmen—Dan Kovachik and Thomas Lyle.
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