CEDAR PARK, Texas -- The Chicago Wolves keep winning even when they lose.
Despite dropping a 5-2 decision Tuesday night against the Texas Stars, the Wolves learned they had clinched their 15th playoff bid in 18 seasons midway through the game, as the Rochester Americans lost 5-4 in overtime to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Moreover, the Wolves' magic number to earn the Midwest Division title dropped to two as the Milwaukee Admirals fell 4-1 at San Antonio. Chicago (40-27-3-3), which starts selling playoff tickets at 11 a.m. Wednesday, leads Milwaukee and Peoria by two points.
The Wolves can clinch the Midwest Division title and the Western Conference's No. 3 seed with a win Friday night at Grand Rapids. They could have wrapped it up Tuesday, but the Stars (31-38-2-2) jumped on them early, and the Wolves couldn't respond.
When Texas pushed its lead to 3-0 at the 2:48 mark of the second period, Wolves coach Craig MacTavish replaced goaltender Matt Climie (20-11-0) with Eddie Lack.
Rookie forward Anton Rodin delivered his first goal since March 7 to cut the Wolves' deficit to 4-1 at 16:44 of the second. Nineteen-year-old right wing Nicklas Jensen, the Vancouver Canucks' first-round pick last year playing in his third professional game, followed with his first goal as a pro at 12:34 of the third.
Texas rookie Jack Campbell (4-4-0) stopped 34 shots to earn the win.