The Admirals were shutout 3-0 by the Utica Comets Friday night. Miikka Salomaki was given a game misconduct for boarding late in the first period and, from that point forward, the Comets really throttled the Admirals. The visitors scored three-goals in the second period and cruised to victory from there. It was either the best performance against the Admirals this season – or the most lifeless game played by the Admirals this season.
The first period was controlled by the Utica Comets’ dump and chase game. Their defense was also very impressive. Despite being so aggressive on Admirals skaters, the Comets were generating bad passes from the Admirals and blocked plenty of shots.
Opening frame flashpoint came when Miikka Salomaki took a major penalty and a game misconduct for boarding. The young Finn has been well known for how hard he plays the game. On this circumstance, he may have let his style of play get the best of him when Peter Andersson stopped by the end boards, braced for an impact, and was blasted in the upper back and into the glass. Andersson didn’t return to action in the first period. And the Ads had a five-minute major penalty that needed killing over the space of two periods.
The Admirals were able to kill off the long major penalty. Yet, the Comets were able to get on the board shortly after power-play ended. Darren Archibald’s snipe from the left wing faceoff dot flew over Marek Mazanec’s glove-side shoulder and into the roof. It was a difficult angle shot but he came up with the goods on the game’s opening goal – Archibald’s eighth of the season.
Then came two more goals for the Comets in a second period that they dominated. A quick rush from the Comets sent Colin Stuart and Kent Huskins in on a two-on-two. Stuart’s pass squeaked by the stick of Roussel, got to the tape of Huskins, who then buried his first goal of the season.
Goal number three for the Comets in the second period came just after a successful penalty kill for the Admirals. Scott Valentine was in the box for a hooking call and was just joining the action when Alex Biega’s blueline blast took a deflection in front of Mazanec and in. The man with the deflection was Archibald who scored his second goal of the game – and his ninth of the season.
The game never really went anywhere from that second period. Chances were absolutely nowhere to be found tonight for the Ads. The result was a shutout by the Comets. The last time the Admirals were shutout at home was Mar 27, 2013 versus the Lake Erie Monsters.
Ramblings: Former Admiral Cal O’Reilly did not play tonight for the Utica Comets – he was out with an upper body injury. Joonas Rask was also out for the Admirals after re-injuring his shoulder on Wednesday night against the Hamilton Bulldogs.
Thoughts on tonight’s game? What happened? Was Salomaki’s major penalty deserved or should it have only been a minor? How can this team rebound for Sunday afternoon’s game against the Chicago Wolves?