Zach Hamill and Magnus Hellberg helped Milwaukee cling to the eighth spot in the Western conference, pacing the Ads to a 4-1 win in Grand Rapids.
Hamill, the newest member of the Admirals, helped the Ads’ longest-tenured member celebrate a special night with the victory.
Scott Ford played his 295th game with Milwaukee, which pushed him past Kelsey Wilson for the most games played for the Admirals in the team’s AHL history.
In his first game in an Admirals jersey, Hamill made an immediate impression with two points, while Hellberg stopped 31 of the 32 shots he faced in another solid start.
Griffins goalie Tom McCollum committed a delay of game penalty just 1:49 into the game, giving the Ads an early power play chance. Hamill Furied the Fury and got Milwaukee on the board with his 17th goal of the season. After a good pass from Patrick Cehlin to Mike Moore, Hamill deflected in Moore’s wide-open slapper.
At 17:41 Brad Winchester gave the Ads a two-goal cushion with the eventual game-winner. Josh Shalla took away a pass along the boards and started a quick rush into the Grand Rapids zone. He hit Winchester in stride at the top of the right circle and his hard wrister beat McCollum glove side.
The Griffins cut it to a one-goal deficit 2:09 into the second period, as Brett Skinner scored right off a faceoff win. It was a bouncing shot that trickled in and caught Hellberg off guard, but it was the only one that found its way past the big goalie.
Hellberg would make 13 saves to keep Milwaukee up 2-1 heading into the third period, where the Ads would regain the two-goal cushion.
In his first game back from recent injury, Kevin Henderson let loose a blazing slapper from high between the circles that bounced in off McCollum.
A critical late slashing call on Luke Glendening put the Griffins in a deeper hole at 17:35 and Mattias Ekholm’s empty-netter just over a minute later sealed the Milwaukee win.
Here are the highlights courtesy of grifvision.
Juuso Puustinen’s six-game point streak came to an end.
The victory was the Admirals’ 500th win in the franchise’s AHL history.
Fordo had a couple shots on net with nothing doing on his big night. Valentine also registered two shots in his fourth game at wing.
Moore ended up leaving the game with an injury. We’ll keep you posted on his status as we find out more.
The new guys continue to fill in nicely for the Ads. While Moore did most of the work on Hamill’s goal, and his assist came on an empty-netter, it was nice to see Hamill position himself nicely to pick up some points.
What did you hear about or see in his game tonight that stood out to you? How big will his presence be should the Ads get into the playoffs?
What do these last three wins against Charlotte and Grand Rapids (the current fourth and third seeds respectively) mean for the team?
By battling to get in against higher caliber teams, do you think this recent run might give Milwaukee a competitive edge in the postseason (knock on wood)?