In the Milwaukee Admirals' last win, Austin Watson was the hero. Thursday night, he gave the Admirals another game-winner to seal a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Wolves at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
With under two minutes left to play, and the game looking like it is headed to overtime, Taylor Beck brought the puck into the Chicago zone.
Beck fired a low shot that was stopped by Chicago goaltender Matt Climie, the rebound went to Admirals forward Patrick Cehlin, but Climie stopped his attempt as well. Climie was unable to clear the crease and Watson knocked it in.
The ending to this back and forth game had a lot of build up.
In the first period, Chicago dominated in shots, outshooting the Admirals 13-6. The Admirals were able to get a goal on one of those shots and went into the intermission tied 1-1.
In the second, the Admirals' energy raised as they took the lead briefly on a goal by Kevin Henderson. They couldn't hold the lead very long despite outshooting the Wolves 13-7.
After Chicago tied the game 2-2 on a powerplay goal by Jordan Schroeder with 12:43 left in the period, the teams both played good defense for the rest of the period.
Both teams had too many men minor penalties in the second period and until only :09 remained, they were tied.
Chicago winger Darren Haydar added the late goal in the second and gave the Wolves the momentum going into the third.
But the Admirals were resilient and played a strong third period that included the tying and the winning goal.
Coach Dean Evason was upset with giving up three goals but happy that his team's efforts.
"We gave them three goals. We obviously have to be better in that area," Evason said.
Evason was also happy with goaltender Jeremy Smith's sixth victory in a row.
"He was calm again, saw the puck very well, we like "Smitty's" game for sure," Evason said.
With some tough games coming up, Evason wants his team to play better defensive hockey.
"We have to clean our end up, and our defensive responsibilities up," Evason said.
The Admirals face the Oklahoma City Barons on Saturday at home and the Grand Rapids Griffins Sunday also at home.