After a rough outing last night against Chicago, the Admirals rebounded with a big win on the road. Timely scoring, solid goaltending, and good special teams play late in the game were key in the Ads 3-1 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins Saturday night.
The win marked the 23rd straight regular season road game with at least a point in the standings for the Admirals.
The Ads trailed after one period, thanks to a Gustav Nyquist power play goal 3:24 into the game. But productive start of the second period changed the momentum in a hurry.
After Juuso Puustinen created a turnover at the Admiral blue line, Michael Latta was able to beat Jordan Pearce glove side just 1:05 into the second period.
Ben Ryan scored his first AHL goal 1:26 later,. Ryan Flynn was doing some hard work behind the net, and fed Mark Van Guilder in the slot. MVG’s shot was saved, but the rebound went to Ryan at the left post.
A little less than 3 minutes later, the Griffins were awarded a penalty shot after Chris Conner picked Roman Josi’s pocket, and Josi stymied the breakaway in an illegal kind of way. On the attempt, Conner tried to go five-hole on Jeremy Smith, but the shot ended up going off of Smitty’s knee and stayed out of the net. The Admirals ended the period with the 2-1 lead.
The Ads had a slow start to the third period, as they didn’t get their first shot until they were on a power play just over 7 minutes into the game. And much like last night, that power play was negated early thanks to a Chris Mueller interference penalty in the offensive zone. 19 seconds later, Ryan Thang was called for a hooking penalty.
While on that 4-on-3 penalty kill, the Griffins were awarded their second penalty shot attempt of the game (first time in team history they had two in a game). The call was that Kyle Wilson gloved the puck in the crease.
Smitty came up huge again, stopping Tomas Tatar on his attempt.
59 seconds after the Mueller and Thang penalties were killed off, the Admirals went on the power play thanks to a slash Taylor Beck drew from Gleason Fournier. And Roman Josi scored his first of the year to make it a 3-1 lead. His shot from the top of the right circle beat Pearce.
The Griffins took another penalty as the third period was winding down, so there wasn’t much of a last minute offensive flurry.
Stortini was back, Champagne was scratched. Taylor Aronson returned to the lineup, replacing Scott Valentine.
Smitty was named the #1 star of the game, and deservedly so….do you think he’ll start Sunday against San Antonio?