Moose: Scouting the Enemy

The fan in the Aaron Rodgers jersey is still perturbed as to what Ted Thompson is doing at this given moment. (Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)

After a breather from last weekend’s three-in-three the Milwaukee Admirals are back to work. It might not be as hectic as Milwaukee to Iowa to Milwaukee in such a short space of time but the team is getting their travel going. The Admirals traveled to Manitoba on Wednesday morning and will be back for another scrap against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Sunday at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.

The focus begins with the Manitoba Moose tonight and tomorrow night at the MTS Centre. They have a record of 24-32-4-5 (57 points, 0.438 points percentage) which puts them narrowly above the Rockford IceHogs (0.431) in the basement of the Central Division.

In their last ten-games at home the Moose have gone 3-5-0-2 and also have the second worst home record (0.453) in the AHL. The only team worse on home ice are the Hartford Wolf Pack (0.344).

As bad as that can all sound it was a very tight contest between the Admirals and Moose the last time they played. The Admirals won 3-2 in overtime and the man with the game-winning goal, Mike Ribeiro, was highly complementary of the Moose after the game saying, “I feel like that team, Manitoba, was probably the best structured team that I played.”

He wasn’t wrong at all with that assessment, either. That was a very grinding game for the Admirals and it took some doing for them to earn the result.  As the Moose are finishing up what has been an eight-game homestand where they have gone 1-4-0-1 with that first win finally coming Saturday night in a 5-3 game over the IceHogs – I’d anticipate more of a grinding style game again.

The Moose have four players at or above 30 points this season. Their top two leading scorers are all first-year pros with the man set in third place in his first full-season of AHL work.

Jack Roslovic leads the Moose this season with 40 points (12 goals, 28 assists) from 56 games. He is followed by Kyle Connor who has 38 points (21 goals, 17 assists) in only 44 games played. Connor was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week earlier this month. Dan DeSalvo has 33 points (15 goals, 18 assists) in 55 games and is the leading scorer for the Moose in this head-to-head match up with 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) in 2 games against the Admirals. Meanwhile, Chase De Leo has produced 30 points (13 goals, 17 assists) in 58 games. He did score his first professional hat trick against the Admirals in Manitoba last season on 12/19/15.

In net there can be only one option and I would be shocked if anyone other than Eric Comrie plays (no disrespect Jamie Phillips). Comrie has played in 44 games this season for the Moose which is the third most appearances by a goaltender in the AHL. Only Linus Ullmark (50) and Jack Campbell (45) have made more appearances at this point in the 2016-17 season.

The 21-year old Comrie has a 15-23-4-2 record from those 44 appearances to go along with a 2.96 goals against average, 0.906 save percentage, and 2 shutouts. In his career against the Admirals Comrie has a 3-3-0-1 record from 7 starts with a 3.26 goals against average and 0.897 save percentage.

What are you anticipating out of these two road games for the Milwaukee Admirals? How key is it for the Admirals to sustain what was generating against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Sunday against a lower standing team such as the Manitoba Moose?

Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.

Posted in Scouting | Leave a comment

Chatterbox, Vol. 191

(Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)

The Milwaukee Admirals took to the MSOE Kern Center ice this morning for their final practice before setting off for a two-game road trip against the Manitoba Moose. Those games will be coming on Thursday and Friday night. The Admirals will be hoping to sustain what was generated on Sunday night when they defeated the Grand Rapids Griffins 6-3.

Richard-Ribeiro-Gaudreau
White-Smith-Åberg
Perfetto-Kamenev-Payerl
(Kelleher) Florek-Army-Liambas

Oligny-Carrier
O’Brien-Granberg
Murphy-Dougherty
(Pardy-Pinkston)

Mazanec
Gunnarsson

Today’s lines saw a subtle flip in the defensive pairings which started during Sunday’s game as Trevor Murphy and Andrew O’Brien rotated. There was then the very pleasant sight of seeing Adam Pardy return to practice. He ran drills alongside Rick Pinkston and there is a hope that Pardy could return in a week’s time -but- there is no clear ETA. It will really come down to progression of how he is practicing and how the arm is holding up with medical expertise factoring in the best path for a good return to game action.

A notable absentee for today’s practice was Justin Kirkland. The 20-year old forward had missed this weekend’s three-in-three due to injury and was set to be re-evaluated ahead of this Manitoba trip. It would appear that he won’t be involved and the Admirals will be using more of a mix and match of Stephen Perfetto and Tyler Kelleher.

Once practice wrapped up I had the opportunity to hear from Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason as well as several players -selected by fan request on Twitter- ahead of this Manitoba road trip. Here were all of today’s interviews.

Comments on the comments? Are the Milwaukee Admirals trending in the right direction or do you feel this coming week should speak to that?

Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.

Posted in Chatterbox | Leave a comment

Cyclones Report: Q&A with Dakota Johnson

Mark Visentin has one of the best Milwaukee Admirals goaltending masks in recent years. He has only had the chance to use it once in-game with the Admirals in the AHL this season. (Photo Credit: Steve Comer)

It’s been far too long since we have checked in on our pals the Cincinnati Cyclones. The Milwaukee Admirals ECHL affiliate has had a rather turbulent season as far as the ups-and-downs go. What is promising right now is that they appear to have really come together as a team at the right time of the season. The Cyclones are currently storming through the ECHL as the regular season is coming closer and closer to its end.

The Cyclones are currently at the end of a five-game road trip which started in Idaho, climbed up to the splendiferous charms of Alaska, and are now en route to play in Indiana before returning to home ice next week Wednesday. They played three consecutive games against the Alaskan Aces and, mercifully, don’t have a game again until Saturday night.

As rough as I’m sure those Alaska games were to follow along to for Cincinnati fans there might be a part of them that wanted that to continue. The Cyclones swept the Aces for three wins in four days at the Sullivan Arena to push their current run of form up to 9-2-0-0 in their last 11 games.

To get an even better sense for how the Cyclones are doing as their season screams towards the ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs we reached out to Dakota Johnson of Sin Bin Cyclones to get the scoop on the Admirals ECHL affiliate. Here is our recent chat.

~Q&A with Dakota Johnson of Sin Bin Cyclones~

Admirals Roundtable. It has been a very up and down sort of season for the Cincinnati Cyclones. Lately, things look like they are finally starting to click. How’s this season been going and what’s worked so well lately?

Dakota Johnson. To say the start to the season was rough would be an understatement. Consistency was their downfall out of the gate. They would win one, lose one; win two, lose two; win five, lose five. There was just no level of consistency at all. For the first few months, well into January, they struggled to find ways to win to the point they couldn’t buy a win.

In early February, they were down and out. They trailed South Carolina by like 10 points for that final playoff spot in the South Division and playoffs began to look like a pipe dream. On February 1st, after getting just flat out beat by a pretty bad Rapid City team, things just clicked almost overnight. Guys started buying into Matt MacDonald’s systems and began playing for each other again. They knew what task was at hand and since then, they’ve gone 17-5-0 and now sit just one point back of Greenville for second place. The job is far from over to secure a playoff spot. It’s as cliche as ever, but they’ve just got to keep doing what they’re doing.

AR. As grinding as our three-in-three games can be would you care to talk me through the joys of playing games in Alaska like the Cyclones just did? It was shades of the midnight hour 2014 Kelly Cup Finals all over again!

DJ. When the ECHL released the schedule last April, these Alaska games were what I was looking forward to most for that very reason. The morning of the first game when I woke up, it felt like I had gone back in time to 2014 again. Except this time, I knew what I was getting myself into with the 11:15pm starts on the East Coast and made sure to stock up on Mountain Dew so I could stay up past 2am.

It definitely hurt a bit seeing that 2014 Championship banner hanging up in the Aces building. It was a little on the personal side for me because the Aces won the cup in Cincinnati on June 9th, 2014. June 9th also just happens to be my birthday. The Cyclones went in there on Alaska’s big Olympic sized sheet of ice and swept by winning all three games. As you’ve probably heard by now, the Aces are ceasing operations at the end of the season. That was definitely some poetic justice going into Alaska’s building for the first time since that 2014 series and sweeping the mini-series.

AR. It may not be the deepest that the Admirals roster has ever been in recent years. Their lone names down there include: Jonathan Diaby, Jaynen Rissling, and Mark Visentin. We’ve also had the opportunity to see the grinder Shawn O’Donnell. How have those guys been for Cincinnati?

DJ. Shawn O’Donnell has pretty much carried this team for the last several weeks since the departures of Peter LeBlanc and Andrew Yogan, who were our top two point scorers at the time. He’s the only skater on the roster that has seen a significant amount of time in the AHL. O’Donnell has 37 points in 40 games with us and has been a big part of the Cyclones turnaround. He’s the type of player you build teams around, I’d imagine re-signing O’Donnell will be one of Matt MacDonald’s priorities over the off-season.

Mark Visentin has had a bit of a rocky year. He’s battled injuries and has been off and on injured reserve most of the season. It’s been a mixed bag with Visentin, he’s had nights where the puck has stuck to him like velcro and some nights where the puck somehow finds a way past him. He did win Goaltender of the Week honors back in January, and despite all the injuries, he’s had a good head on his shoulders and has been a team-first guy. There’s a lot of good he can bring, just keeping him healthy has been the hurdle.

This has certainly been the most confident Jonathan Diaby I’ve seen in awhile. This is the biggest offensive output he’s put up in his professional career with 11 points in 26 ECHL contests. He’s still got some issues with his defensive game that he needs to tighten up on. There’s been one or two times he’s gotten caught puck watching and lost track of his defenseman that’s sneaking back door who ends up scoring but fortunately, it’s a much rarer occurrence than it has been in years past.

It’s been a career year for Jaynen Rissling in pretty much every category. As you guys in Milwaukee know, the first couple years for him were rough because like Visentin, he struggled to stay healthy. Last year, he only played 10 games then missed the rest of the season injured. This year has been different. He’s played in 59 of the 65 games the Cyclones have played. He’s put up a career high 27 points and is the type of player who can do it all. You need him to play forward, he’ll play forward. You need him to play defense, he’ll play defense. Need him to quarterback a power play or kill a penalty, he’ll do that. You need him to rough it up and drop the gloves, he’ll do that too.

AR. For players such as Visentin and Rissling they become free agents at the end of this season. Where do you see their future going from the Cyclones after 2016-17 ends?

DJ. It’s a tough call with Visentin. There is certainly talent there but he has to have one good healthy season. I don’t think he’ll have trouble finding work but I don’t see him getting an AHL contract next season. I see him being an ECHL contracted goalie next season so he can reinvent his career a bit and prove he can stay healthy to earn his way back to being a full-time AHL goaltender. Maybe it’s with Cincinnati, maybe it’s with somebody else but I think he’ll be in the ECHL next season.

As for Rissling, I firmly believe he will be in Cincinnati next season on an ECHL contract. Our coaching staff really like him. He’s a leader in our locker room and is somebody the guys look up to. He serves as an alternate captain. Is he still AHL talent destined for the NHL? No. But he’s a perfect fit at the ECHL level. I will legitimately be shocked if he doesn’t go the route of Zach Budish and signs with Cincinnati after not renewing with Milwaukee/Nashville.

AR. Has Diaby done enough in extended playing time in Cincinnati this season to make a case for playing full-time in the AHL next season?

DJ. That’s a tough question. I will say Diaby is in a much better place now than he was last season when he was here. I’ve seen some significant improvement in his game and I’m sure starting the season in Milwaukee and being up there for the better part of the season in the AHL had a lot to do with it. However, inconsistency still bites him. One night, he’s one of the Cyclones best defensemen out there and the next night not so much.

I don’t think he’s full-time AHL ready. Yet. I think he needs a little bit more seasoning in Cincinnati. I think next year the Admirals need to start him in Cincinnati, have him stay there for the first two months or so of the season, then bring him back up to Milwaukee and go from there.

AR. For the life of me – can you explain the contract situation for Andrew Yogan? He could be such a huge part of the Cyclones right now but is back where his season started in Italy with HC Bolzano.

DJ. There was some language in his initial contract with HC Bolzano that stated he needed to finish the season in Bolzano or else the rights to his International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) card would belong to Bolzano for the next five seasons. What that means is he would not be able to play for any IIHF credited team in Europe except for Bolzano and would not be able to take part in any IIHF sanctioned events during that time period.

This would’ve affected him here as well. Because he started the season in Bolzano, he could not accept any AHL call-ups. He was not allowed to sign any AHL PTO’s. If an AHL team wanted him, they would have to sign him to an SPC straight up. So, had he finished the season here and continued to play here, he wouldn’t be able to accept an AHL call-ups for that five-year period.

He didn’t particularly like it in Bolzano, which is why he came back to Cincinnati in the first place. But for the betterment of his career, he made the conscious decision to return to Bolzano and finish out the contract. When he left, Bolzano only had four games left in their season but he couldn’t come back to the Cyclones because Bolzano’s season went past the ECHL’s deadline for players to return from Europe. So, Yogan’s season is over and his summer is already underway.

Will he come back to Cincinnati next season? I like to think he will because he was a big part of our organization and a big part of our locker room that has been hugely missed these last couple months.

AR. There are of course several names that Admirals fans might be unaware of related to the Cyclones. A player such as Jordan Sims comes to mind as someone who has put together a really nice season. Who have been some of the nice surprises on this year’s group?

DJ. Sims has without a doubt been this team’s unsung hero. This has been a breakout year for him. He has kind of taken the long road around and started his career in the SPHL, then got his shot in the ECHL, and even got a look in the AHL last year. He really stepped up and led the way at a time where the Clones were just decimated by injuries. He’s got 47 points in 57 games and he is one of the least talked about players by Cyclones fans when he should absolutely be one of the most.

Another pleasant surprise would be Saverio “Sam” Posa. He is one of our more stable defensemen. He doesn’t put up a ton of points, he’s only put up eight points this year but he’s a stay-at-home defensemen that does his job.

A third name that comes to mind would be one of our SPHL call-ups when the injuries stacked up in Dylan Nowakowski. He was in training camp with the Cyclones but unfortunately had to be let go due to numbers from Milwaukee. Our coaching staff loved him and brought him back. He is one of the hardest working players on this team. He’s a smaller guy but has the speed and offensive skill to compensate. I firmly believe he’ll be in Cincinnati on a full time ECHL deal next year.

AR. It’s shocking to think that this season is nearly entering playoff mode. It felt like it wasn’t that long ago when I was watching the Cyclones invitees to Admirals Training Camp work at the MSOE Kern Center! That said, the Cyclones have worked themselves into a nice enough spot. Can this group contend for a Kelly Cup this season or will the Allen Americans win for the third consecutive time?

DJ. I almost don’t want to answer that question simply because superstition. But if you want to get technical, the Cyclones playoffs began in February and they’ve done a hell of a job so far. If they’re able to get into the playoffs, once they’re in, anything is possible. They’ve proved time and time again during this stretch recently that they are not a team you can take lightly as they’ve beaten Idaho, Toledo, and Fort Wayne who are some of the best teams in this league. I’m confident they can hang with any team in this league.

As for Allen, I’m going to be honest, I’m really sick of them winning. But now that I’ve said that, they probably will win a third straight Kelly Cup.

Cheers to Dakota Johnson of Sin Bin Cyclones for taking the time to fill us in on the latest out of the Milwaukee Admirals’ ECHL affiliate. Hopefully both the Admirals and Cyclones are getting hot at the right time! You can follow along with Dakota’s work on The Sin Bin where he is an associate editor of the ECHL. For great in-game updates on the Cincinnati Cyclones I highly recommend giving him a follow @SinBinCyclones on Twitter.

Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.

Posted in Feature | 1 Comment

Roundtable Mailbag

(Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)

After an energy sapping three-in-three the Milwaukee Admirals have earned a day-off of work. They should be returning to practice tomorrow as they prepare for a Thursday and Friday road set up North against the Manitoba Moose. This break in the action allows for a nice time for you readers to chime in and ask away questions that you have across the board. Let’s get a proper Admirals Roundtable Mailbag started, shall we?

For your mail bag, I’d like to turn the 15 with…on you. Who was your first big hockey player you’ve met, besides the Admirals and Predators? What is your favorite hockey moment, and non-hockey moment? What made you get into hockey? Who influenced you? Most painful memory? It will be like interviewing yourself with your questions so we can get to know Daniel. ~Gail

I actually didn’t meet a big name hockey player until I started up as an intern with the Milwaukee Admirals. So, you’d be going down the list of the players from the 2012-13 season plus many of the names included on the 35th Anniversary campaign that cropped up. Pekka Rinne comes to mind there. What I often enjoy though is that you really can’t get star struck with hockey players. They’re just too down to Earth to get that feeling. I would counter by saying I met Al Unser Jr. when I was four-years old at Road America and he brought me under the roped off section of the Galles Racing garage to show me his car and sign me shirt. I seriously still remember that one.

My favorite hockey moment would probably be watching the Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings rivalry growing up. That’s probably what really had me locked into hockey from that point forward. Even looking back now that rivalry holds up because it crammed so much: intensity, high level talent, best teams in the Western Conference at the time, and usually Stanley Cup implications off of it. The brawls were a blast watching it when I was younger. The talented players around it are what make it hold up for me.

My favorite non-hockey moment would have to be school related. As a freshman in high school I was so caught up in the “what will I be doing for a career and when I get to college” dynamic so much that I was never really in the present. I ended up getting a 1.5 GPA and was basically on the verge of getting kicked out of school at 14-years old. I would say the two memories that come to mind the most are when I first made Honor Roll two-years after that happened or either my high school or college graduation. At the time of making Honor Roll I needed to go around and have professors sign off a check list every now and then to get repeated updates on the work I was doing – probably to keep me fully aware on grades. The last class I had to check off the professor pulled me aside after class to tell me I made Honor Roll and it meant the world knowing I had worked back out of re-doing all of my freshman year classes in tandem with sophomore classes at Walden III. I’d say that’s where the work ethic started and every accomplishment since probably starts from that moment.

What made me get into hockey was the sports field in general. I always loved the sport but, at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, all I really covered was Women’s Soccer and Women’s Basketball. I had applied several places to try and break into the job field and ended up -probably- becoming the oldest intern that the Milwaukee Admirals ever brought in. I’ve been caught on working in hockey ever since.

My biggest influence would be my parents. They’ve taught me everything as far as selflessness, work, and having good humor goes!

My most painful memory – going the two route as I often catch players with that. Injury-wise, I’ve been fairly fortunate to not have had any broken bones but I did tear my right ACL a few years back and not long after that I had a left high-ankle sprain. I would say I still feel the right knee being weird at times but the most painful was the ankle. When your knee goes it is more of a jolt, you hear it pop in your ear, and not much more than adrenaline after. The ankle hurt but, with college starting the week after, I bucked the brace – taped it myself zombie apocalypse style – and walked through the pain. Non-Injury, the most painful memory for me feels like it is on the horizon in the near future as it relates to work. Behind the scenes this season it hasn’t been great but, as with the players in the AHL, I’m going through the developmental process in my own way. I’ll always be a believer in good things happen to good people. No matter what lies ahead I’m sticking to that.

What is happening with Cody Bass? Will he back on the admirals roster next season? ~Diane

Cody Bass is done for the season after suffering a knee injury on 12/28/16 in a game against the Iowa Wild. He required surgery and is in the rehab process as we speak. The last I checked he no longer needed crutches and is slowly getting back in the swing of things which I’m sure is a well needed mental boost. As rough as this season is, especially given his rise back to NHL caliber play since joining the Nashville Predators organization, he is still under contract next season and will likely be a top candidate as Admirals team captain for the 2017-18 season. He’s a real well respected locker room presence and none of that goes away after a season ending injury.

Do you think that Dante Fabbro could get an amateur tryout soon? Seems like he killed it for BU. ~Seth

Well, in order to help facilitate that Dante Fabbro would need to sign his entry level contract with the Nashville Predators. That hasn’t happened yet. The players on the Milwaukee Admirals radar at the end of this season are: Frédéric Allard, Samuel Girard, and Yakov Trenin. Though, we aren’t short of a surprise here and there as several college and junior seasons are coming to an end which sees the likes of -say- a Tyler Kelleher turning up out of nowhere.

A friend and I keep debating about Roscoe. What kind of animal is he suppose to be exactly? Other than the mascot obviously. ~Chris

Why, Roscoe is an orange sea dog with a puck for a nose! I actually had this question brought up when both myself and Roscoe were in Nashville. I thought a fan on Twitter had a newspaper clipping that had a bit of backstory to Roscoe but I can’t seem to find it.

How many players that get a PTO contract actually sticks around? ~Dennis

I’m not sure there is any exact league-wide number to that but I can say every PTO Contract serves as an audition for many players in the ECHL to make a claim to be full-time in the AHL. People may already forget that Adam Payerl started last season signed to the Cyclones in the ECHL, was a roster invitee to training camp, and started last season on a PTO before earning an AHL deal with the Admirals and then an NHL deal with the Predators. Matt White was a PTO signing last year from outside of the organization with the Manchester Monarchs (ECHL) who signed a two-year AHL Contract with the Admirals. Derek Army this season is on his second PTO deal with the Admirals and it wouldn’t surprise me to see that lead to something more next season.

Was sorting thru prospect stuff & noticed Tyler Moy should be graduating from Harvard this year. should we expect to seem him in some Ads games when their season ends or a possible ELC with Nashville? ~Eric

I would expect him to go to Toronto or Boston, then Buffalo, and then to the New York Rangers (I kid, I kid). Tyler Moy still hasn’t been signed to any sort of contract by the Nashville Predators so he really can’t do that yet. I would greatly hope that he does sign and begins his pro career next season as a member of the Admirals, though. He has had a fantastic 2016-17 season with Harvard and I would be gutted if he made like his ol’ teammate Jimmy Vesey and darted. I don’t know if you would see the Predators draft a Harvard talent ever again.

Who handles the scouting of the lower levels (major junior, NCAA, ECHL) and who decides to sign those players to AHL deals? ~Josh

That mostly extends across the full organization but you can give plenty of credit to how the Admirals setup shop to Nashville Predators Assistant General Manager and Milwaukee Admirals General Manager Paul Fenton and his scouting staff. As a small example, if you go back to hear the post-game audio when Stephen Perfetto signed Dean Evason was quick to praise them specifically for finding him for the work he was doing for the Alaska Aces in the ECHL. More often than not the praise can go out to Fenton for what Admirals fans get to see as far as non-drafted talent goes.

Will we ever get to see the AHL East coast teams? And will the California teams ever be pushed to the 76 game schedule or, ahem, God forbid, the rest of the league be dragged down to play fewer games? ~MGB

I would certainly love to see more variety back on the schedule. There were quite a few Eastern Conference teams that were always a lot of fun to see appear on the calendar. The Toronto Marlies and Rochester Americans come to mind as teams that were fun going back and forth with. Even the brief time against the Utica Comets and seeing games played inside the Utica Memorial Auditorium where scenes from Slap Shot were filmed was awesome. I don’t know if that would ever happen if there were to be a return to a full 76-game schedule for all AHL teams. It still is asinine for the AHL to allow for a lesser schedule for Californian teams. If cutting excess travel out of the equation is the goal the Admirals traveling from Milwaukee to Iowa to Milwaukee in three days doesn’t paint a fair image nor does travel expense from teams purchased by NHL parent clubs to be closer to home. If there are any teams that should cover the cost of excessive travel – it’s them.

Do you have any additional questions? Feel free to ask away in the comment section below and I will add them to the Mailbag up top with my answer. Tomorrow we will have a story on the Cincinnati Cyclones with Sin Bin Cyclones own Dakota Johnson. Keep tuned as we await the Manitoba road trip!

Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.

Posted in Ramblings | 2 Comments

Chatterbox, 190

(Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)

The last time that the Milwaukee Admirals and Grand Rapids Griffins played I called my shot and said that the Griffins would win 6-2. I wasn’t going to go that far this time around but I had a gut feeling for awhile, looking at the schedule, that the Admirals were set up for disaster with the Griffins at the end of a three-in-three weekend. Never before has my gut instinct been so immensely wrong. And I couldn’t be more thrilled.

While the scoreline itself is great what stands out the most to me in the Admirals 6-3 win over the Griffins was their all-around performance. The opening minutes to that contest were very Griffins heavy with attacking pressure and an early goal but it didn’t take the Admirals too long to find a foothold and start driving right back.

It may have been a weird goal to watch happen but when Pontus Åberg flipped a puck up from his zone to catch Matt White as he skated across the attacking blueline – that’s when the Admirals started to really clamp down. White scores off the breakaway and makes it a 1-1 game. And that set the stage for a second period that was, for the lack of a better term, bonkers.

Martin Frk did score a really weird goal just over a minute into the second period. His shot just managed to find a gap in Marek Mazanec‘s left arm as he was holding to the near post and it trickled in. That was then followed by the gaffe of all gaffes by Mazanec’s counterpart last night Eddie Pasquale. He skated behind the net, appeared to suddenly not know where he wanted to play the puck, realized he had no more time to make a decision on which side to play it, backhanded it, and he banked it off the boards right to Vladislav Kamenev for what would be effectively an empty netter for the Russian.

It’s around this point, only at a 2-2 game, when you start seeing a team as high quality as the Griffins being the one who looked out of their depth and lost in their own head. That mistake by Pasquale was a microcosm of the Griffins in a lot of ways. He didn’t have the time and space he thought he did when he got there, lost it, and paid the consequence.

(Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)

What followed next was something that legitimately had me in shock as I sat back and watched the game unfold. Were the Admirals capable of winning last night’s game? Sure, everyone always has a chance. The Griffins are a beatable team and the Admirals have beaten them in the past. Yet, what the Admirals did to a team as good as the Griffins in that second period was memorizing to watch. Yes, Frk scored 1:10 into the second period but that was just a single shot and one of only four shots on goal that the Griffins would have in the period. The Admirals outshot the Griffins 16-4 in the second period. The Admirals scored four goals in the second period against a goaltender in Pasquale who had recorded consecutive shutouts against them entering the start. It was as authoritative and dominant as the Admirals have played all season – structured, balanced, smart, aggressive, and also without the need for a single penalty kill.

I would have said that the Admirals went through two periods of hockey without taking a penalty -but- they did. But damn was it worth it when they did.

Watching from afar I can safely say that the Griffins are a team that love to talk. There are several players on that team that embrace the agitator game and just aren’t willing to back it up with a fight. The Admirals are now sixth in the AHL with 34 fighting majors. The Griffins are dead last in the AHL with 13 fighting majors. The Griffins talk the talk but are never willing to walk the walk.

I have to imagine that when Matt Lorito challenged Anthony Richard he did so mostly because he is the little guy, the kid, and the youngest player on the ice. I can’t imagine he ever in his wildest dreams saw Richard doing what he did next with those three viscous right hands that landed flush to drop him. I certainly didn’t! The reaction from the Admirals bench was incredible – it erupted. If the Admirals needed the extra energy for the rest of the night that fight, followed by the late second period power-play goal from Åberg, did just that.

(Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)

What comes next is the important thing for the Admirals: sustaining an effort such as that. It’s been awhile since the Admirals have been on a proper run of form. This season for the longest time has felt like it has been on a “win one, lose one, repeat” cycle. The importance of the growing pains lately for the Admirals was to mature into a “defense-first” style and to make home ice at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena a place of dominance and to make visiting teams feel uneasy having to walk into the building. There have been some hiccups over the past two months in getting that all smoothed out but last night, and Friday night against the Iowa Wild for the matter, are among the finest examples of that working successfully. If it becomes the norm it is coming at the perfect time of the season for the Admirals to find an identity and get hot. It’s playoff season. And playoff style hockey is starting to come out in the way the Admirals play.

After last night’s game I had the chance to speak with Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason. I then caught up with Mr. Gordie Howe Hat Trick himself, Richard, as well as Jack Dougherty and Adam Payerl. These were last night’s post-game comments.

Comments on the comments? Was a performance such as last night a sign of things to come from the Milwaukee Admirals or a flash in the pan? Will they be able to sustain that sort of effort on the road on Thursday and Friday against the Manitoba Moose? How does that game set the stage for the rematch against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Sunday?

Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.

Posted in Chatterbox | Leave a comment

Howe About That Richard? Ads Defeat Grand Rapids 6-3

(Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)

The Milwaukee Admirals won 6-3 against the Grand Rapids Griffins at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Sunday night.

You can count this as one of the best results of the season. The Admirals and Griffins were both on the last of a three-in-three weekend but the Griffins were riding high on two wins whilst the Admirals suffered a tough loss in Iowa last night. The Admirals exploded in the second period and Anthony Richard capped it off with a Gordie Howe hat trick to see them finish off the best team in the Central Division in style tonight.

“The win is one thing, and the score is one thing, but the effort is what we’re proud of,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason after the game. “It’s easy to just take the night off and just say, “oh well, it’s three-in-three and we’re tired,” and we didn’t. We just worked. It feels good for us, as a coaching staff, to see the group do that.”

It didn’t take long for the Griffins to assert their dominance tonight. They came out in attack and earned a first period lead in only 3:31 of play. Eric Tangradi glided across the top of the right wing circle and released a snap shot against the grain that beat Marek Mazanec high glove-side for his thirteenth goal of the season.

With 4:03 remaining in the first period the Griffins had a goal waved off. A shot had knuckled up on Mazanec and Mike Borkowski quickly snapped at it out of the air. The puck flew down into the net but the baseball style swat by Borkowski was quite clearly above the crossbar and the officials waved it off on the spot.

Moments after that disallowed goal the Admirals equalized. Pontus Åberg had flipped a puck high into the air and Matt White gloved it down just as he was crossing into the attacking zone. White threw the puck down and had a breakaway that ended with a backhander through the five-hole of Eddie Pasquale for his thirteenth goal of the season.

Similar to the way they started the first period the Griffins had a quick tally to open the second period. Martin Frk whistled a shot from the right wing wall through the arm of Mazanec as he was holding the near post. There was just enough of an opening stick-side on Mazanec where the puck hit off of him and glance off the post before Frk had his twenty-third goal of the season and see the Griffins back out in front.

Coming into tonight’s game Pasquale had consecutive shutouts against the Admirals. Perhaps with the Admirals second goal he was making up for lost time or simply felt bad for doing that. The veteran netminder was playing the puck behind his net, hesitate to play it forward, and then passed a backhander directly off the end boards to Vladislav Kamenev. The Russian had a simple rush to the empty net to record his fifteenth goal of the season and make it a 2-2 game.

The Admirals would follow that up to take their first lead of the night. Andrew O’Brien unleashed a low shot as he entered the attacking zone. Pasquale failed to secure the shot with his glove and the puck bounced free for the speedy Anthony Richard to bang home on the rebound to earn his fourth goal of the season and give the Admirals a 3-2 lead.

“My first thought was that I think [O’Brien] was going to give it to Gaudreau and [Ribeiro] on the other side to create maybe a three-on-two or four-on-two,” said Richard. “So I was like, I’m going to create space with my speed and just rush to the net. The puck came right at me on my tape.”

It was around this point when it felt like the dam had officially broken. The Admirals poured on pressure and then saw the French Fry line come up with the goods again. Mike Ribeiro dropped a pass back for Richard who opened up down the left wing for the trailing Frédérick Gaudreau to snap a shot from the slot past the stick-side of Pasquale for his twenty-first goal of the season and make it a 4-2 game for the Admirals.

Richard’s second period was already something special but, following a high stick by Yevgeni Svechnikov, he would get into his first career pro fight in the scrum that followed. He paired up with Matt Lorito and proceeded to knock the tar out of him. It was a decisive 10-8 win in the fight cards as he out-struck Lorito and earned the knockdown. Richard earned a Gordie Howe hat trick in the space of 10:02 in the second period.

“We were all biting our lips,” laughed Evason. “I had my card in front of me because the guys were so excited. We asked him if he had done it before and he said, “yeah, I know what I’m doing.” So, he knows what he is doing. Clearly he is not afraid to do it.”

Almost forgotten about in the melee was the fact that Svechnikov gave the game its first power-play chance of the night after 38:55 of play. The Admirals momentum kept rolling and a no-look spinning backhand feed by Trevor Smith rolled back into Pontus Åberg’s sweet spot in the low left wing circle for a one-timer that roared by Pasquale for his team leading twenty-fifth goal of the season with just 2.7 seconds remaining in the second period.

In the late goings of the third period Tangradi would net his second of the night to cut the Admirals lead to 5-3. He had a puck right on the doorstep of Mazanec but peeled back out before turning around in the low left wing and roofing a shot over the glove hand to record his fourteenth goal of the season.

The Griffins went empty net and extra attacker in the final minute. Mazanec attempted to score a goalie goal but missed out. That was salvaged quickly as Kamenev passed off to Adam Payerl to score the empty netter, earn his fifteenth goal of the season, and seal the Admirals 6-3 victory against the Griffins.

Next on tap for the Admirals will be some rest time before traveling up North to play on the road against the Manitoba Moose at the MTS Centre on Thursday and Friday night. Both of the games will be played at 7:00 PM CDT. The Admirals will then travel back to see the Griffins once again at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena for a Sunday tilt.

“I think it’s important not to dwell on this win,” said Jack Dougherty. “We see what happens when we play a certain way and stay out of the box and play how the coaches want us. I think it is important for us to get a lot of rest after this. We’re looking forward to going to Manitoba and getting ready for playoffs here.”

Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals play last night there were no roster moves made in the organization. Tonight’s line combinations were: Richard-Ribeiro-Gaudreau, White-Smith-Åberg, Perfetto-Kamenev-Payerl, Florek-Army-Liambas, Oligny-Carrier, Murphy-Granberg, O’Brien-Dougherty. Tonight’s scratches were: Tyler Kelleher (healthy), Justin Kirkland (undisclosed injury), Adam Pardy (broken left arm), and Rick Pinkston (healthy). Tonight for the Grand Rapids Griffins forward Dominik Shine made his professional playing debut.

What were your thoughts on tonight’s game and this weekend’s three-in-three? Where did that second period explosion for the Milwaukee Admirals come from?

Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.

Posted in Game Recaps | 6 Comments

Griffins: Scouting the Enemy

(Photo Credit: Sam Iannamico)

Normally, I would like to say that I am an eternal optimist. Tonight’s game is one I’ve looked at on the schedule for awhile and thought it just didn’t look great. The Milwaukee Admirals split the deck with the Iowa Wild in the first two legs of this three-in-three weekend. That meant having a lengthy bus ride back after a 4-1 loss in Iowa to come home where a dominant Griffins team awaits. By all accounts this feels like it sets up harshly for the Admirals. If they are able to flip last night’s script to defeat the Griffins tonight? It could be one of the best results of the season.

What will be a factor for both teams is they are both at the end of a three-in-three. The Admirals had the Wild for two games. The Griffins played twice against the Chicago Wolves, first-leg at home and second-leg on the road, and won both times in games that each required overtime. Fatigue will very much play a factor in how this game can go. And -if it stays tight- it will likely be a test to see who has anything left in the gas tank in the third period to make a difference.

The Griffins will arrive to Milwaukee with a record of 40-17-1-4 (85 points, 0.685 points percentage). They are in the lead of the Central Division and saw their gap to second place ever so slightly grow with the overtime wins against the Wolves (0.656). The Admirals right now rest nestled in third place (0.619) as they have for quite some time now.

As high powered as the Wolves offense might be it is actually the Griffins who are the most lethal attacking team in the division. They score 3.48 goals per game while only conceding 2.47 goals against per game. The Griffins are one of the most balanced and well structured teams in the AHL. And, against the Admirals this season, are 5-3-0-0 with a pair of wins from three contests in Milwaukee.

The leading scorer for the Griffins is Matt Lorito who has 52 points (19 goals, 33 assists). He is followed very closely by Ben Street who has 50 points (23 goals, 27 assists) which includes last night’s game-winning goal in overtime against the Wolves.

Those two are clearly not standing alone. The Griffins have three other players with 40 points or more: Martin Frk, 45 points (22 goals, 23 assists)… Evgeny Svechnikov, 40 points (17 goals, 23 assists)… and Tomas Nosek 40 points (15 goals, 25 assists).

By comparison the Admirals have no players at the 50 point plateau and only three players at the 40 points or more threshold: Frédérick Gaudreau, 42 points (20 goals, 22 assists)… Pontus Åberg, 41 points (24 goals, 17 assists)… and Trevor Smith, 40 points (12 goals, 28 assists).

Vladislav Kamenev could join that group tonight. The Russian currently has 39 points (14 goals, 25 assists). It would take a bit of puck luck for it to be done tonight -but- Matt White is also close to reaching that mark, too. White has 37 points (12 goals, 25 assists) right now.

In net the Griffins have a tandem of Jared Coreau and Eddie Pasquale. Coreau made his NHL debut this season and has made 14 appearances this season with the Detroit Red Wings. He participated in both contests against the Wolves on Friday and Saturday night to push his season total in the AHL up to a record of 14-7-0-2 from 23 appearances with a 2.29 goals against average, 0.922 save percentage, and 2 shutouts.

If the Griffins decide to go a different route and not see Coreau work all three games of the weekend set it would give the reigns to Pasquale. As nice as that might sound the veteran netminder has won all three starts he has made against the Admirals this season and has a spectacular 0.99 goals against average, 0.968 save percentage, and 2 shutouts in the process.

What are your expectations for tonight’s game? Is this Milwaukee Admirals team capable enough right now to compete with this Grand Rapids Griffins team? How important will the start to this game be for the Admirals?

Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.

Posted in Scouting | Leave a comment

No Luck Tonight in Iowa; Ads Lose 4-1

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

On the road tonight the Milwaukee Admirals lost 4-1 against the Iowa Wild at the Wells Fargo Arena.

Whenever there are more fighting majors than goals scored you are either looking at a highly explosive game or a loss. Tonight the Admirals came up on the wrong side of a Wild team that did a solid job of out-battling them to the point of attack tonight. Their efforts were backed by a quality effort from Steve Michalek in net who stopped all but one of the Admirals twenty-eight shots on goal.

Tonight’s game started pretty much where last night’s left off between Jimmy Oligny and Ryan Carter. The two dropped the gloves eleven seconds into the contest which was trickle over after a rough exchange in front of the net last night in Milwaukee. It was primarily a jab fest with with a few over-hand rights getting through. There was not much separating the two in the fight cards.

After a high sticking minor against Matt White the Wild were able to score from the night’s first power-play chance. Pat Cannone delivered a pass from the low left wing into the high right wing circle for a one-timed shot by A.J. Jenks. Jonas Gunnarsson was able to defend the shot by Jenks but the puck laid flat in the crease for Gerald Mayhew to score on a tap in and earn the first goal of his professional playing career.

Less than three minutes later the Wild were able to make it a 2-0 first period lead. The Wild were able to keep a cycle going and Sam Anas chipped a puck down the right wing wall for Zack Mitchell. It didn’t seem like there was any angle to shoot but Mitchell snuck a shot from below the goal line deep in the right wing pocket that rolled up off the skate of Gunnarsson as he hugged the near post to give Mitchell his tenth goal of the season.

Past the halfway point of the second period there was a moment of controversy from both sides of the ice. Hunter Warner delivered a huge hit on White as the forward had his head down. The check appeared to be targeted to the head and that drew the attention of Andrew O’Brien who went in for a fight. There wasn’t a call against Warner on the check. There wasn’t a call against O’Brien for instigating. And the Wild, if that fight didn’t whistle play dead, would have had a two-on-zip breakaway in attack. It was effectively left alone as a fight despite all that happened around it. Thankfully for the Admirals White wasn’t hurt on the play.

In the closing minutes of the second period the Admirals would get off the mark. A quick play in neutral ice between Anthony Richard and Frédérick Gaudreau sent the latter sprinting down the right wing wall. It appeared as if three Wild players were caught puck watching and Gaudreau labeled a pass for the back post to Stephen Perfetto that he took first time to beat Steve Michalek to score his first career AHL goal and make it a 2-1 game.

Out of the gate of the third period the Wild were able to notch a goal to take the wind out of the sails for the Admirals. Colton Beck passed out of the trapezoid to find Mayhew on the right face-off dot. His shot sailed back the net-front screen set by Tyler Sikura and beat Gunnarsson stick-side to make it 3-1 from Mayhew’s second career AHL goal.

Another fight would break out between these two teams as a result of a hard hit by the Wild. Trevor Murphy was clocked from behind and into the boards by Jenks. That had Adam Payerl after him and that fight, unlike the first tilt, has a decisive winner in Jenks who had the takedown after a quick flurry.

Before the Admirals pulled the trigger to bring Gunnarsson to the bench and bring the extra attacker on with under three-minutes remaining in regulation the Wild made it a 4-1 contest. Jenks ran clean through Murphy as he was breaking out of the defensive zone, corralled the loose puck, and proceeded to fire a wrister from the left wing circle low glove on Gunnarsson to complete the Gordie Howe hat trick with his first goal scored in the AHL this season.

It will be a long bus ride back tonight for the Admirals. They are heading home from Iowa right after this game and back to Milwaukee where they have a 5:00 PM CDT face-off tomorrow night on home ice against the Grand Rapids Griffins who just finished a two-in-two of their own against the Chicago Wolves. The Griffins won each of those games in overtime.

Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals played last night there weren’t roster moves made in the organization but there was more roster shuffling as the team rotates through injuries. The line combinations tonight were: Richard-Gaudreau-Perfetto, White-Smith-Åberg, Payerl-Kamenev-Kelleher, Florek-Army-Liambas, Oligny-Carrier, Murphy-Granberg, O’Brien-Dougherty. Tonight’s scratches for the Admirals were: Justin Kirkland (undisclosed injury), Adam Pardy (broken left arm), Rick Pinkston (healthy), and Mike Ribeiro (rest).

What are your thoughts on tonight’s game? What happened to the Milwaukee Admirals in the first period? What is your assessment of Jonas Gunnarsson this season? Will the Admirals have enough in the tank to compete toe-to-toe with the Grand Rapids Griffins tomorrow?

Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.

Posted in Game Recaps | 3 Comments

Chatterbox, Vol. 189

“Get out of here with that weak stuff,” said Vladislav Kamenev in perfect English last night allegedly. (Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)

The test of this weekend’s three-in-three for the Milwaukee Admirals is a big one. The Iowa Wild have been playing great hockey and the Grand Rapids Griffins are always sharp. To see the Admirals find a way over the top of this mountain required a very strong start to the top and they went out and delivered on that with a 2-1 win last night.

As a scoreline, that win doesn’t feel flashy or overwhelming but that in a lot of ways is a reflection of what the Admirals did correctly last night. They were incredibly structured and detailed. It took a penalty shot from Sam Anas to finally get a puck past Marek Mazanec. The Admirals push for a  “defense-first” mentality showed up last night and with it came minimal quality scoring chances for the Wild – a team that was on a four-game point streak and three-game winning streak.

In a lot of ways last night’s game previewed playoff style hockey. That first period was a little wide open at times, made all the nuttier by the lack of whistles or stoppages in play, but the work rate and specifically defensive work rate for both sides was very good. It took a heads up play by the Admirals on a three-on-two rush to get a goal for Justin Florek and then a bounce off of Mike Reilly‘s skate for them to get the go-ahead and eventual game-winning goal on the power-play. Even for the Admirals it was tight. The different was, after the Florek goal, they really settled down and started to dictate the game.

I’m expecting plenty more of the same tonight. If anything, with the game taking place in Iowa with the loss hanging over their head -plus- Sunday off unlike the Admirals, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Wild up their physical efforts and be even more aggressive. The desperation that the Wild started to play with towards the end of the third period, and the way they started the game, did get the Admirals caught up a little bit and caused turnovers to keep the Wild cycling in attack. The Admirals are going to probably need to weather a first period storm or find a way to silence the Wells Fargo Arena crowd.

After last night’s game I had the chance to speak with Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason. I then chatted with Pontus Åberg, Tyler Kelleher, and Anthony Richard. These were last night’s comments following the win over Iowa.

Comments on the comments? What are the chances that Jimmy Oligny and Ryan Carter drop the gloves tonight following the fracas between the two at the end of last night’s contest? With the Grand Rapids Griffins looming in the shadows Sunday: how important is it for the Admirals to get the victory tonight?

Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.

Posted in Chatterbox | Leave a comment

A Complete Game; Ads Win 2-1

(Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)

The Milwaukee Admirals won 2-1 against the Iowa Wild at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Friday night.

It’s been awhile since the Admirals played a very well structured sixty-minutes of hockey but they accomplished that tonight against the Wild. They received goals from Justin Florek and Pontus Åberg to get them out in front. It was only a Sam Anas penalty shot that got the better of Marek Mazanec in the Admirals victory tonight.

“It was a real quick game,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason. “No penalties. So everything was going really fast and both teams were working their butts off. That team works hard. Our team works hard. We have good games against them. Can’t see it being any different.”

Early into the first period the Admirals opened up the scoring with speed and numbers behind them. Mike Liambas had the puck down the right wing on a rush and was attempting a centering pass for Justin Florek that lofted a touch wide. Thankfully, Derek Army was also flying down the left wing and then opened up to deliver a picture perfect pass for Florek down the slot which he would bury past Alex Stalock for his ninth goal of the season.

“The goal was a big lift for us,” commented Evason. “We knew they had been playing very well. We knew they were very confident. One of our keys was to start well and hopefully take that confidence out of their game. We did not -but- we got the goal and the goal kind of did that for us.”

In the second period the Admirals extended their lead thanks to a power-play goal from the game’s first special teams exchange. Maxime Fortunus had been called for hooking and the Admirals top power-play group took care of business in twenty-four seconds. Pontus Åberg delivered a shot-pass from the left wing that looked to tag Frédérick Gaudreau en route to the net down the slot. Instead, the puck dinked into the net off of Wild defenseman Mike Reilly’s skate. It was Åberg’s twenty-fourth goal of the season.

“I’m trying to find Gaudreau in the middle there,” smiled Åberg. “It went under his stick and they scored a nice goal for me.”

Tonight marked the professional playing debut for Tyler Kelleher. Things were going swimmingly until a moment in the third period that he would like to have back. Sam Anas had a breakaway and his shot was stopped by Marek Mazanec. Yet, Kelleher took a slash across the right side of Anas to draw a penalty shot. Anas would swoop left wing and pull a backhand to forehand move that opened up the Czech goaltender to the stick-side for his eleventh goal of the season to deny Mazanec’s shutout bid.

Following a double-minor for slashing against Ryan Carter with 1:52 remaining in regulation it felt like the Admirals had a sure road to victory. The Wild still pushed and were able to get Stalock to the bench for the extra attacker just seven-seconds later. That wouldn’t get them much more that puck possession around the boards and the Admirals would get the clear and win when all was said and done.

Mazanec was in the right place at the right time whenever he was required tonight. He probably could feel hard done with the penalty shot that denied a shutout for him but his twenty-five saves on the evening gave a great foundation for the Admirals to build off of en route to their second consecutive win.

“He’s an NHL goalie,” said Åberg of Mazanec. “Good for us to have him down here. When we’re having our lowest he’s the one who is carrying the team back there. It’s nice to have him.”

Tomorrow night these two will lock horns once again but on the road at the Wells Fargo Arena in Iowa. That game will start at 6:00 PM CDT. Following the conclusion of that contest the Admirals will bus right back to Milwaukee for a Sunday clash against the Grand Rapids Griffins which starts at 5:00 PM CDT.

Ramblings: Prior to tonight’s game the Milwaukee Admirals announced the signing of University of New Hampshire standout Tyler Kelleher. The current Hobey Baker Award finalist is signed to an AHL contract with the Admirals through the rest of the 2016-17 season as well as the 2017-18 season and made his professional playing debut tonight. There was some shuffling with tonight’s line combinations: White-Smith-Åberg, Richard-Ribeiro-Gaudreau, Kelleher-Kamenev-Payerl, Florek-Army-Liambas, Oligny-Carrier, Murphy-Granberg, O’Brien-Dougherty. Tonight’s scratches were: Justin Kirkland (undisclosed injury), Adam Pardy (broken left arm), Stephen Perfetto (healthy), and Rick Pinkston (healthy).

What were your thoughts on tonight’s game? Was the penalty shot a correct call? How did you feel Tyler Kelleher looked in his pro debut and are you excited by what his time with the Milwaukee Admirals could be? How will these two clash tomorrow night in Iowa?

Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.

Posted in Game Recaps | 2 Comments