Another great crowd, and another great win. The Admirals took the upperhand in the Amtrak rivalry, defeating the Chicago Wolvds 4-2 Wednesday night at the Bradley Center.
The win was their 9th consecutive victory at the Bradley Center, just one short of tying the team record.
Here’s a high level overview of the game, courtesy of Coach Herbers. On google maps, this definitely would not be considered street-view.
The Wolves got things started at 5:45 in the first with a power play goal as Scott Valentine was in the sin bin for a hooking call. Kevin Connauton fired a shot from the far blueline that found Jeremy Smith but was not covered up. Smith layed out to recover the rebound but the Wolves’ Steve Reinprecht gathered it first and fired top shelf on the wide open net. Smith sold out to gather the rebound in front of the crease but that gamble didnt pay off as Reinprecht had a 6×4 box to work with.
The Admirals retaliated with a power play goal of thier own. The play got started with Victor Bartley showing us that he doesnt just have a pretty smile. Bartley sent a great two line pass from deep inside his own zone that connected with Chris Mueller in stride. Mueller then left the defenders behind as he skated in and beat Eddie Lack at 17:33 to even the score. Did I mention that it was a great feed from Bartley? Well it was. So there!
The Ads kept the pressure on in the second as Scott Valentine gave the Ads a go-ahead goal at 2:38. With the puck on the far side point Teemu Laakso found Valentine on the near side point with a pass. Valentine wound up and fired a rocket that beat Lack on the far side for for his second goal on the year.
The Wolves’ very own Admiral killer for hire evened the score at 7:36. Reinprecht sent the puck to Darren Haydar who broke into the Admirals zone. Haydar skated to the near side circle and fired a shot that beat Smith far side. It was a fantasitc shot and there was nothing Smith could do about it but make shadow puppets from the red light glowing behind him.
Wouldn’t you beleive it? Even Scott Ford got a goal in this game. Mark Van Guilder skated into the slot with several Wolves defenders hacking at the puck. He “passed” (lost control) of the puck to Ryan Flynn who was also in the slot. Flynn sent a pass back to Ford who was between the circles at the point, and fired a cannon that beat Lack at 13:10 to give the Admirals the 3-2 lead going into the third.
Here’s Fordo on his goal.
The Admirals extended their lead in the third period with a great pass across the crease to a crashing Michael Latta. At 8:48 Taylor Beck skated the puck into the zone and continued the rush to the crease. Beck, within a couple feet of Lack, sent a beautiful saucer pass to the tape of Latta who just redirected it into the back of the net to give the Ads the 4-2 lead. Probably a play they have done a million times together back on their junior team.
Happy trails to Gabriel Bourque, welcome back Blake Geoffrion. Here’s Coach Herbers on the swap, and how he thought Blake did on the Van Flynder line tonight.
Bourque played 8:05 of the Preds game, took 10 shifts, was credited with one blocked shot. That’s all the box score had for him. Played on a line with Halischuk and Smithson, but early returns are that it was a good debut. Read the Preds blogs tomorrow….there will be a ton of positive reaction to Bourque. Here’s a taste from Coach Trotz: “I can guarantee you this: If [Bourque] plays like that … night in and night out, I know he’s gonna play a lot more.”
– 4 goals, 8 assists, 12 Admirals with one point on the night. Would that be the definition of scoring by committee?
– Robert Slaney. On the 4th line. Holding his own, I think. Good on him.
– This home streak? The Admirals are outscoring their opponents by Taylor Beck to Chris Mueller. 41-18. What does the coach think the team needs to do to be successful at home?
– I asked Scott Ford about the warm-up music change. He’s the one that put the request in.
He’s on twitter now, if you didn’t already know…
Soooooo….questions…… In a game where none of the Admirals had multiple points, who would you have voted for three stars? (Ryan edit: Reinprecht probably should have made the final list for Chicago…had a goal and an assist). How cool was Matt Kenseth to do that trike race? What a good sport. What did you think of Blake’s game tonight? Everyone will be done with their hangover by the New Years Day game, right?