Wolves Score Last Four, Sink Admirals 6-3

The fourth time was the charm for the Chicago Wolves. In their fourth meeting with the Admirals, the Wolves capitalized on a plethora of Milwaukee miscues, and came away with a 6-3 win.

The Wolves shutdown the Admirals offense over the last half of the game, and scored four of their own during that time to take the lead and then pull away in the final minutes.

Were the Wolves that good or were the Admirals that bad?  I think it’s a combination of both.  And Coach Muller says something along those lines.

Scott Ford, of all people, opened the scoring, finishing after some strong play in the offensive zone by Jani Lajunen.  The Fin brought the puck in along the right wing, circled around the net, and tried to hit Gabriel Bourque with a pass in the slot.  Colliding with a Wolf player or two, Bourque couldn’t control the pass, but the puck then came to Ford on the near point.  Bourque kept going straight to the net to screen Matt Climie, and Ford’s shot made it through traffic for his first score of the year.

About 3 minutes later, Stefan Schneider sprung Kevin Connauton on a breakaway, right after the latter’s hooking penalty had expired.  Both Ryan Ellis and Victor Bartley were caught up ice, and couldn’t catch up with Connauton, who beat Jeremy Smith.

Then came a wild second period.

Connauton scored his second of the game, taking a cross-ice pass from Darren Haydar on the power play.  Wide.  Open.

Roman Josi and Michael Latta then connected to tie the game at 2.  Josi brought the puck all the way up ice in that very familar way for him, and tapped a pass over to Latta in the slot for the goal.

Latta scored his second of the game 27 seconds later.  After a Zack Stortini shot from the point didn’t quite make it on Climie, the puck bounced right to Latta in the low slot.

The defense then took the rest of the period off.

Roman Josi, deep in his own zone, made a perfect pass to Nathan Longpre.  After a short-distance give-and-go with Darren Haydar in front of the crease, Longpre scored his third of the year.

Then Tyler Sloan just handed the puck to Mark Mancari at the offensive blue line, springing him on a breakaway.  That one ended up being the game winning goal.

4 goals.  Smith hung out to dry on all of them.  Still, it was a winnable game, and here’s the message Coach told the team in second intermission.

The Ads seemed to have a tough time getting anything going in the 3rd period, and credit the Wolves for that.

Mike Duco had a quasi-empty net goal with 1:27 to play, as Smitty had started to head to the bench, but saw the offense turn the puck over.  Duco’s shot made it just past the stretched out reach of Smitty, as he was trying to get back to the crease.

Mark Matheson added an official empty-netter on a shot that was flipped just in front of the Chicago crease.  The puck just barely beat Scott Valentine into the net.

———–

Lines

Thang – Lajunen – Bourque
Wilson – Mueller – Puustinen
Flynn – Van Guilder – Beck
Stortini – Latta – Ryan

Josi’s first game. We’ll start with Coach’s assessment.

Personally, I was surprised to see him in action so soon after being cleared to play.  I thought they might have liked him to get his hockey legs back a bit before getting thrown to the Wolves.  But there he was out there tonight.

A mixed bag I think.  Lots of his shots were blocked, and there was his gaffe that led to the game-tying goal.  But we saw some of the things that make Josi Josi — the smooth puck-carrier, the guy that has no panic in his game.  Looks like he still needs to get used to playing with his new defensive partners, Valentine at even strength and Ellis on the power play.  Hopefully it won’t take too long to get some of that chemistry.

Ellis was okay.  He needs to be better than okay.

Yeah, Smith was hung out to dry.  Would have been nice for him to come up with a save or two on those chances, but there were plenty of times he was bailing out his defenders at other points in the game.  Tough one for Smitty.  He deserved a better fate.  The rest of the team didn’t.

Kyle Wilson was invisible.  He was credited with three shots, though.  So I guess the shot counter saw him.

Darren Haydar played like the Darren Haydar we know.

Oklahoma City comes to town tomorrow, so it’s a quick turnaround…which coach says is nice after a game like this one.

Discussion: 

- Thoughts on Josi’s debut? 
- Were the defensive turnovers uncharacteristic, or have the d-men just done a better job concealing them over the season so far? 
- Did you like Valentine’s effort at the end of the game on the empty net goal?
- Do you get the sense with Coach Muller’s quotes so far that he’s never too high after a win or too low after a tough loss?
- For those of you who have seen them on the road…do they look like a different team at home?  Getting too cute with the puck?
- Looking forward to seeing Triston Grant tomorrow?  Think he would drop the gloves against Fordo?
-

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5 Responses to Wolves Score Last Four, Sink Admirals 6-3

  1. adsfan says:

    I am surprised that you didn’t address Duco’s behavior during the entire game. He slashed Admirals so many times that I lost count and never was called for it. In the third period, he attacks Lajunen from behind, knocks him facedown on the ice and jumps onto his back. When he gets up, he doesn’t go to the penalty box. He skates up to the Admiral standing on the blueline and takes a swing at him. I thought the ref gave him a misconduct for that, but he must have just told him to get into the box. I saw two Wolves punching one Admiral. I saw four Wolves jump four Admirals from behind. Thang was the only one who fought back by going after Duco. The two weenie refs gave 4 minutes to Duco and two minutes to Lajunen. They didn’t have the guts to call any other penalties. I thought that Milwaukee lost the game then. They should send the tape of that incident to the AHL.

  2. MiB says:

    I have 2 comments about last nights game, and thats all.

    Duco has a new nickname…and it’s Doucheco.

    Valentine is a god damn beast for his effort on the last goal.

  3. adsfan says:

    Now that I have a little more prospective on last night’s game, I have a few more points to make. I don’t think it is an accident that the Wolves jumped Milwaukee’s #1 line with 9 minutes left in a close game. It was bush league tactics. When they come back to Milwaukee, maybe somebody needs to put Haydar into the third row rather than nudging him like last night. A message needs to be sent to Duco and his fellow criminals, especially on home ice!

    Josi played well, except for his pass to the wrong team that led to a goal and the power play that had a few shots but scored no goals in five tries. The D-men turnovers need to be eliminated. Valentine nearly killed himself trying to stop Matheson’s chip shot ENG. Milwaukee did get too cute with the puck. In the third period, they had a 3-on-2, made a drop pass at the top of the circle and didn’t get a shot off before losing the puck. That was a quality scoring chance that turned into nothing. A weak shot that was gloved would be better; at least you make the goalie move.

  4. MiB says:

    I’ll agree with how we play vs. Haydar…seems like NOBODY wants to hit him! Somebody should offer up a bounty…just sayin.

    Chicago guys mentioned the Admirals didn’t have any shots in the last 5-6 minutes. If Fordo can score, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be taking shots.

  5. Jason Karnosky says:

    The breakdowns defensively at home so far this season have been puzzling, seems the exact opposite of how Milwaukee is playing on the road. Sometime it can easier to play a solid and simple defensive game playing away from home ice and the Admirals seem to be in that rut right now.
    Then again maybe Chicago might have just been due against Milwaukee. After a performance like this it is nice to have another game in less than 24 hours. I would expect much better effort for Milwaukee against Oklahoma City.

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