Peoria sends Admirals to fifth place heading into Sunday

The bad news is Milwaukee now sits at the bottom of the Midwest division with an 11-11-2-1 record. The good news is its just three points out of first place.

It looked like Grand Rapids might’ve had a good chance to pull away in the division until the Admirals broke their eight-game winning streak a few weeks ago. On the flip side, the Peoria Rivermen looked bad enough to fall out of competition early in the season.

Over their last ten games, however, every team in the division has a winning record, with Milwaukee at 5-3-1-1. It’s become apparent now that every game in the Midwest is going to be a dog fight, and no lead can be taken for granted.

See Saturday night’s match up.

The Admirals were in the midst of a 3-in-3 with a road trip to Peoria sandwiched between two home games. After knocking off second-place Rockford Friday in OT, the Ads took a step back in Illinois.

Things were looking good for Milwaukee, as Magnus Hellberg was having another good showing. Stopping 34 shots, Hellberg had helped his team preserve a 1-0 lead thanks to a Michael Latta goal right after the second intermission.

It seemed like Milwaukee was well on its way to a win, especially after killing off a 5-on-3 penalty with about five minutes left to go. But then everything shifted.

With 4:26 remaining Sergey Andronov deflected a Mark Cundari shot into the net to tie the game 1-1. Then, just like that, with just under two minutes left Peoria snatched the lead when Evgeny Grachev scored from the top of the right circle.

It eerily resembled what Milwaukee did to Chicago at the Bradley Center back on Nov. 30th, but this time, for the fourth time in their last five games, the Admirals blew a lead.

Peoria added an empty-netter to complete the stunning turnaround leaving the Ads with little time to regroup. Today at 5 pm, its onward with Hamilton.

The way things have been going, I wonder if it’d be best for the Bulldogs to score first. This team seems to be playing better from behind than with any lead (large or small.)

Hamilton is the bottom dweller of the North division, but its record is only one game worse than Milwaukee’s. Not to mention the Ads are going to have to fight through some wear-and-tear after two straight games with no rest.

All of that should make for a compelling game, and a big testament to resilience should the Ads pull off a win.

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