There were questions going into tonight’s game versus Chicago. Such questions as, would Engren start in net, would Deveaux be a goon, or would the T-Mobile- AT&T merger disrupt my service at all? All these questions will eventually be answered. Like right now.
The Admirals torched Wolves goaltender Edward Pasquale for four goals, Deveaux was a non-factor, Engren opened the bench door, and my cell phone service rocked in the Admirals 4-2 win over Chicago Friday night.
Here’s Coach Lambert:
The Admirals were the first to strike at the 9:42 of the first period as Grant Lewis put one past Pasquale. Gabriel Bourque at the near side boards sent a pass to Scott Ford at the middle point. Ford wound up and sent a slap shot towards the net but was redirected off of a Wolves’ defenseman and directly to a wide open Lewis on the far side. From that position he was able to put the shot on net for the goal and beat Pasquale stick side (that ended up being a theme). It was one of those “you couldn’t have planed that” goals for sure. Right place right time.
The Wolves were able to answer back at 10:50, off an equally fluky goal. With Ryan Garbutt skating in just off the near side boards he had an Admirals defender on him the whole way. Garbutt put the shot on Smith just as he was shoved down the ice, the puck looked to have been stopped by Smith with the good ‘ole armpit save, however half a second later the puck trickled through and across the line to even the score. That was definitely a goal that Smith would like to have back, and a goal that you just have to shake off for sure.
Just 1:44 later the Admirals once again took the lead off Dylan Hunter’s second goal of the season, moments after he was featured in the Subway Fact Or Fiction game. With the puck in the neutral zone and the Admirals’ Mike Bartlett skating it along the near side boards, Bartlett sent a pass across ice and into the offensive zone to a wide open Hunter. Hunter was able to gather the leading pass, take a couple strides, and proceed to burn Pasquale for the Admirals second goal of the period. Stick side. Coach is happy to see Hunter cash in.
The Admirals extended their lead in the second as Kelsey Wilson lit the lamp for his 10th on the year. The Admirals have been putting a clinic on passing all game and this goal was no exception, with Mark Van Guilder playing the instructor in this example. With Andreas Thuresson carrying the puck into the offensive zone he passed it to Van Guilder who was skating in along the far boards. Van Guilder then sent a pass across ice and backwards to a crashing Wilson, who gathered the puck and put a wrister on net from just inside the near circle beating Pasquale short side (read: stick side).
The third period would get off to a slow start as we have become accustomed to when the Admirals have the lead. Unlike the past however, the Admrials would eventually add to their lead with a great move by Gabriel Bourque. Ryan Thang was along the near borads at center ice when he sent a pitch fork clearing shot off of the glass. The puck eventually came down just past the blue line and found a speeding Bourque. He skated down through the near circle and cut across to the middle, deeking Pasquale out of his jock strap and putting the rock in the net to give the Admirals the 4-1 lead. Due to AHL and world federation of ice hockey equipment rules, Mannino had to come in to relieve Pasquale, because you can’t play without a jock strap.
The Wolves, refusing to go away, got a goal past Smith at the 11:40 mark. With the Wolves skating into the zone, the Admirals were baited into chasing the puck making it an easy choice for Michael Davies to dish the puck to a wide open Spencer Machacek, crashing down the back door. The goal looked to be off his skate but all doubt was removed when he got his stick on it just before it crossed the line. The goal halved the lead, but that was as close as the Wolves would get.
Pretty good crowd tonight, don’t you think? I think it was because of the gamehost (I’m already sucking up in hopes to be invited back to write next season).
Pretty typical Jeff Smith game. Just a pair of interference calls in the second period. There obviously were other infractions, but they weren’t called. And that’s fine. You know what you get with Jeff Smith. And the good teams adjust. And it seems that the players know what to expect too. Got cross checked into the boards? It wasn’t a whine and cheese fest. They got back up and got back into the play. And Coach Lambert would rather play these guys 5-on-5.
I thought Pasquale looked shaky from the start. Smith looked shaky early on too, but some good D got the puck out of danger. Oh, three Wolves shots hit the pipes. Some nights those go in. Some nights you sacrifice goats to the hockey Gods and you get metal and dark goal lamps. Here’s the coach on Smith’s night at the rink.
Coach Lambert said that we should expect Atte Engren to make his United States of North America professional American Hockey League ice hockey debut tomorrow night in Rockford, Illinois, home of the IceHogs, Cheap Trick, and Beef-A-Roo. Ok, we’re paraphrasing a bit….but yeah, Coach says Engren should get the start in Rockford tomorrow night.
San Antonio, Texas, and Houston all won, so the Admirals will hold on to first place, one point ahead of the Aeros.
Knowing Engren is likely to debut, does that make want to go to Rockford tomorrow? Pre-game Beef-A-Roo, and then the big debut?
Which line was the best one tonight in your opinion? I think the Hunter – Bartlett – Flynn line was pretty sharp.
When did Bourque get so nifty with his stick? He was a goal scoring machine on the roadtrip, his shootout goal on Tuesday was pretty badass, and he had that nice move to end Pasquale’s night tonight.
Do you like the whole Amtrak rivalry thing? We don’t seem to be very good at winning the trophy….but can you live with that?