Magnus Hellberg got his first start since last Friday and bounced back from that disappointing showing to lead the Ads to a second-straight victory over Chicago.
The big goalie was solid in regulation stopping 22 shots, and he finished the night off with two saves in the shootout.
The Admirals got off to a slow start with just four shots to Chicago’s 11 in the first period, but Hellberg kept the game scoreless making some big saves early.
The Wolves did grab the 1-0 lead 12:55 into the second when Derek Joslin fired a long pass to Darren Archibald to set up a 2-on-1 rush. Archibald whipped a backhand pass to Andrew Ebbett who scored from the slot.
After Kevin Connauton went to the box for roughing to give the Ads their second and last power play chance, Cam Reid tied the game at 16:11. Reider was in perfect position to put back a Juuso Puustinen rebound right in front.
Mike Moore was called for hooking about two minutes later, and the Wolves scored a power play goal of their own after their first four attempts had been killed off.
The Ads tried to corner Chicago and clear the puck along the boards but it came free to Darren Haydar who threw a shot on net from just under the blue line. Hellberg tried to get down and grab it, but Ebbett worked the puck loose, and Andrew Gordon flipped it over the goalie and in off the crossbar at 18:47.
Milwaukee rattled off 14 shots in the third period and finally tied the game again with 4:04 to play. Chris Mueller fired a shot from the near corner and Brad Winchester was able to jab it home past Matt Climie.
The Ads kept the offensive edge in overtime with the only three shots of the extra period, but Climie was able to send the game to the shootout round.
Puusty scored first in the shootout, deking forehand then backhand and sliding the puck in under Climie’s right pad.
Haydar answered with a similar move to get Hellberg down on the ice and slide the puck under him and in off the left post.
Then Matt Halischuk gave the Ads the lead for good whipping a nice little no-nonsense wrister in to Climie’s right.
Michael Davies, Taylor Beck and Nicklas Jensen were held scoreless in order, and Daniel Bang put another one home for the Ads on a backhand wrister.
In the do-or-die attempt, Hellberg stayed with Bill Sweatt all the way, and Sweatt missed the net just to the right, securing the win for Milwaukee.
Here are the highlights courtesy of the Wolves.
In a game where the Ads allowed six total power play opportunities and only received two, the special teams units were efficient again.
That’s the last we’ll likely see of Halischuk, as he’s headed back to Nashville. Along with the winning shootout goal, he picked up an assist on the late Winchester goal.
The win kept Milwaukee’s playoff chances alive putting the Ads just two points behind Abbotsford for the eighth spot in the West.
Hellberg looked good again, particularly with his glove and reaction time. If anything he set up an interesting decision for Wednesday’s game against Peoria. Who gets the start?
We hope Halischuk enjoyed his stay down here, as we certainly did. Again do you think his play will mean anything to the team in the long run?
Do you think the Ads will keep up the recent stretch of better special teams play? What else needs to stay constant for this team to make a serious run at the postseason?