And that’s what’s important, right?
After Chris Mueller’s first goal of the season 4:16 into the second period gave the Admirals a 3-0 lead, the Heat controlled most of the play the rest of the way.
The Heat scored twice in the second period to make it a one goal game, but came up empty in the third, failing on three power plays in the final frame.
But the Admirals owned the first period, and they gained the lead just 42 seconds into the game. Aaron Johnson fired a shot from the point that was deflected by Matt Halischuk past Matt Keetley for Halischuk’s third goal of the year — all against Abbotsford.
Kelsey Wilson deflected a Blake Geoffrion shot on their second (and final) power play of the game. Blake also assisted on Mueller’s goal, and now has two assists in three of his last four games.
Mark Dekanich made 26 saves on 28 shots for his 4th win of the year. The two that got by him…a backhand off of a rebound after a good save. The other goal was a power play marker that came on a broken play after Greg Nemisz fanned on a shot. The puck slid towards the goal, and nobody is really sure who actually scored it. Officially they gave it to center Lance Bouma. But it was as good rush in transition, after Andreas Thuresson had a good shorthanded scoring chance.
Here’s how the forward lines looked, sans Linus Klasen for the first time.
Bourque – Begin – Halischuk
Wilson – Lundmark – Santorelli
Thuresson – Geoffrion – Mueller
Thang – Van Guilder – Flynn
– Roman Josi made his season debut tonight after recovering from a hand injury suffered during training camp. I had a chance to talk to Aaron Sims after the game, and he gave Josi some high marks.
“It didn’t take him long to get accustumed to game speed here. He looked natural out there. Josi is a guy who’s going to rush the puck and he did that tonight. This was a pretty good jumping off point for him.”
He was paired with Scott Ford for this game, and I think we might get some good work out of that pairing. All three defensive pairings compliment each other pretty well with offensive and defensive minded skillsets….the other pairings were Blum & Laakso, and Johnson and Palin.
– I think we underappreciate how versitile Chris Mueller is. One game he’s playing on an energy line, the next on a checking line, and tonight back on a scoring line….and he scores the game winner.
– Ryan Flynn played his first game since October 10th (which was the team’s second game of the season)
– Jamie Koharski was tonight’s referee…. I’m interested to know what the relationship between Heat coach Jim Playfair and Koharski is like these days, after Playfair’s meltdown last season. Can they laugh about it? He’s a Koharski, so I’m guessing not.
– Chet Pickard lost in his Cincy debut tonight. Again, only two goals of offensive support, but he gave up 3 goals on 25 shots. So now, his streak is up to 14 straight decisions. Cincy plays again on Saturday night, so we’ll see if they go right back to him.
So for quick discussion before the rematch in Abbotsford Saturday night…
– Geoffrion had a delay of game penalty in the 3rd period…do you think we can get away with calling it two minutes for Yonking?
– The next Admirals 3-in-3 is November 19-21. With Dekanich playing extraordinarily well….do you think Jeremy Smith will see a minute of ice time while he’s here?