After a tight first 40 minutes, the Admirals exploded for four goals in the 3rd period, leaving the Peoria Rivermen behind by a 5-1 final score.
Michael Latta had a pair of goals and an assist, Taylor Beck had one of each, and Ryan Ellis had a pair of assists. Meanwhile, Jeremy Smith was sharp, stopping every shot except for a Derek Nesbitt rebound on a 2nd period Peoria power play.
That’s 13 goals in 2 games of the Ian Herbers era. Here’s the Coach talking about the offense.
Michael Latta tied the game 1:20 after Nesbitt’s goal. He was the 3rd man in on the rush, and had a perfect shot in the upper left corner of the net to beat Ben Bishop.
Victor Bartley opened the floodgates with a goal that Bishop probably wants to have back. His shot from just inside the blue line somehow beat Bishop. We’ll let Bartley describe the play.
About two and a half minutes later, Latta intercepted a clearing attempt at the offensive blueline, and tried to feed Taylor Beck down low. Rivermen D-man Mark Cundari was in position to at least block the pass, but pass got by him and went through to Beck just in front of Bishop. His backhander beat Bishop to make it a 3-1 lead.
Coach Herbers gave high marks to those two former Guelph Storm teammates after the game.
Mark Van Guilder and Joel Champagne completed a 2-on-1 rush. Van Guilder waited for the d-man to commit to a slide, then passed through the slot to Champagne for his first AHL goal.
Latta scored his second of the game by getting behind the defense and taking a long pass from Ryan Ellis along the near side. He went in all alone and his goal with 3:15 remaining in the game was the cherry on top.
And let’s not forget about Smitty. He gets his 10th win of the season, and was sharp throughout. Will he get the start tomorrow? I think he should.
Bourque – Mueller – Thang
Champagne – Van Guilder – Flynn
Beck – Latta – Puustinen
Slaney – Lajunen -Stortini
Ellis-Sloan, Ford-Bartley, Laakso-Valentine
Here’s coach on the debuts of Laakso and Slaney.
– Puustinen had a penalty shot attempt after Danny Syvret give Juuso a hefty slash on the hands. Puustinen made one move too many and then pushed his try wide right.
– Who didn’t miss Brett Sterling out on the ice? This guy. (I’m pointing to myself)
– Bourque got called for a hockey-stop snow-job into the goalie. Terrible. That’s unsportsmanlike conduct? Never mind the whack that Bishop took at Bourque with his stick immediately afterward. That’s okay. And then we had another one of those interference and diving on the same play calls later in the 2nd period. Where do you stand on that debate? Can it be both interference and a dive, or does it need to be one or the other?
– I thought the Admirals did a really nice job dictating their style of play for most of the game. There were extended periods in the offensive zone, while the Rivermen were just one rush and done a lot of the time. Definitely not the game they’d like to play with their offensive talent. And the Rivermen started taking some extra chances in the 3rd, the Admirals were able to capitalize on their mistakes.
– I thought that this was one of Ryan Ellis’ best games of the season, especially as the game went on. I also liked Joel Champagne on that line with Van Flynder.
– While it’s great to have Marty Gelinas on the bench right now, they are still searching for the permanent assistant coach. Here’s what Herbie is looking for in his #2.
Just one question for discussion (but feel free to comment on whatever you want): What do you expect in the rematch tomorrow night in Peoria? It’s their first home game since November 11th, after 9 games straight on the road. (although, the last four have been in the region).