(We’ll throw in a bunch of audio in a separate post tomorrow….let’s just let it sink in for now, okay?)
I think you would be hard pressed to find two teams that are any more evenly matched than the Milwaukee Admirals and the Texas Stars. Game 6 went to extra innings and this was the 3rd time it happened this series. Both goaltenders were solid, special teams were, well, special and this was another epic game. But alas, much like Highlander, there can be only one… Winner, that is…. Tonight, that winner was….. We’ll find out right after these messages….. Okay, I am sure you read the headline. It was the Admirals that went supernova on the Stars when Mark Van Guilder scored at the 10:42 mark of the second overtime on Monday evening at the Bradley Center.
The win is good enough to clinch the series and send the Admirals to the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs, where they will face the Houston Aeros. The series will start this Friday at the Bradley Center and you better get your tickets, yo.
But let me tell you about this great game six, and how the Admirals were able to advance to the second round.
The Admirals struck first at 4:20 into the initial period, with Mike Bartlett getting his first goal of the series. Andreas Thuresson tried to drive the puck to the net from the short side. The puck was stopped as Thuresson and Kelsey Wilson both tried to hack it in. Wilson got a piece of the puck and it caromed to Bartlett crashing the short side and fired it home for the 1-0 lead.
The Stars were able to even the score at 4:41 into the second stanza with Taylor Beck in the sin bin for a holding the stick penalty. Dan Spang skated through the slot and fired a shot from between the circles. The shot was turned aside by Jeremy Smith but the rebound came back out towards the far side. Scott Ford attempted to clear the puck to the boards but was robbed by Colton Sceviour, who put the shot in the net to tie the game.
The Admirals started the 3rd period off with a bang. Just 1:22 in, Thuresson (finally) lit the lamp to give the Ads a 2-1 lead. Wilson was down low and sent a pass to Bartlett along the far side. After Bartlett gathered, he sent the puck to the high slot where Thuresson fired a wrister that beat Bachman. The Admirals had great movement with the puck and Wilson had a nice screen going in front to make the play a little harder for the net minder.
The Texas Stars would not be out done as Travis Morin tied up the game with a nifty goal. Raymond Sawada, Admirals nuisance extraordinaire, was behind the net when he found Ondrej Roman in the near-side circle. Roman sent a pass to Morin in the slot drawing his back to the net. Morin then spun around sending a no-look backhand shot that found the top right corner of the cage. This was a definite ‘hats off to ya’ kind of play that can only be credited to a great shot.
So we went to the first overtime period, where the Stars outshot the Admirals 13-2. And the Stars dominated the period even more than that stat suggests. The Admirals even had some PK time, but were able to keep it out of the net.
The ice was a little more even in the second OT period. And all it took was one sequence in the offensive zone to net the game winner. Ryan Thang was tripped up at the blue line trying to enter the zone. He got up and stole the puck back from the defender and carried the zone. Thang then put a shot on Bachman from the near circle along the boards. The rebound came right back from the direction it was shot, and Van Guilder gathered it and sent the puck to the back of the net, and sent the Stars packing.
What an exciting series.
NOTES AND QUESTIONS:
If the Admirals had lost this game….would it have been pretty demoralizing? Like, no chance to win game 7?
Kelsey Wilson had a goal disallowed near the end of the 2nd period, as he hiked the puck in the net. Bummer that the call went against us, but the ref was right there, and we think it was the right call.
Special teams – the Stars 1-8 (and they scored on an abbreviated power play), and the Admirals were 0-3. Think some of them were kind of ticky-tack for a playoff game of this magnitude, and weren’t exactly called both ways. But pretty much every team can say that after any game. So we won’t harp on that.
The penalty kill is only as good as your goalie, and the Admirals penalty kill was pretty darn good. Speaking of goalies, Bachman played pretty lights out too. Give us your best adjective to describe the goaltending in this game.
Josi and Laakso were good. They were very good. They’ve been quietly awesome this series.
Wilson was great in front of the net. Glad to have him back.
Thuresson – it’s great that you scored. You’re still on notice.
We made not have sold out the arena, but the fans that showed up were fantastic. You could feel the playoff energy in the stands. And thanks to everyone who made it through night with me on twitter. I was in a dark place, and you gave me light. Smiley-face, winky, clown.
So. Friday and Sunday here. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday down there. And then Sunday (Mother’s Day) and Tuesday here. Put it on your calendars, and bring Mom to the games.
We’re hoping to cash in our fake Internet money that Roundy’s totally owes us, so we can get down to Houston. We’ll let you know how that goes….