After a 2-1 win against the IceHogs in Rockford Sunday night, the Admirals dropped the second half of the home-and-home set in unspectacular fashion, losing to the IceHogs 4-1.
With Linus Klasen and Chris Mueller up with Nashville, others needed to step up their games. And nobody really did.
Early on, Kelsey Wilson tried to light a fire under his team at the 5:36 mark, as he and Kyle Hagel dropped the gloves, shed their helmets and circled the blue line for a good ole fashion fisticuffs. Once they locked up it was a great fight as Wilson got out to the early lead with a good couple jabs. Hagel wouldn’t be out done and had some crosses and jabs of his own. The fight lasted a good while and after it was all done the score card was given to Hagel. They both spent the subsequent five minutes in Johnson’s office to think about what they did.
Half way through the first period, Ryan Thang was called for a questionable slashing offense whilst (yea, I said whilst, what ya gonna do about it?) in the offensive zone. With the IceHogs up a man, they quickly converted at 10:54 when Peter LeBlanc sent the puck around the boards to Brandon Pirri on the near boards near the face of circle. Pirri gathered and sent a pass to Mathis Olimb at the point who put a cannonade on net and beat Ads goaltender Mark Dekanich high side through traffic. The goal was Olimb’s fourth on the year and gave the IceHogs the 1-0 lead.
The Admirals had their chances in the first but were unable to convert. With 2:05 to go in the stanza Roman Josi got through the defense and into the slot where it was just he and IceHogs goaltender Hannu Toivonen. Josi tried to put a quick move on the goaltender but was stonewalled in the process. The Admirals would surrender the first period trailing 0-1.
8:24 in the second period Dylan Hunter evened the score 1-1 with a goal from about 2 feet out. Gabriel Bourque was fed the puck at the point and he fed it to Laakso on the far side blue line. Laakso fired a shot on net that Toivonen initially saved but couldn’t control. The puck spit out to Hunter who was waiting in the slot and put the rebound past the goaltender. The tally was Hunter’s first goal of the season in his 3rd game played with the Admirals this season.
Both teams got into penalty trouble in the second period but it was the IceHogs who capitalized on the opportunity. Matt Halischuck (second game back from injury) was sent to the sin bin for a slash at 17:35 and 1:14 later Ben Smith gave the IceHogs the lead again. Jeff Taffe dished the puck to Smith who skated down the near side and fired a puck on net from the right faceoff circle. The uncontested shot beat Dex short side about glove height. It was most likely a shot that Dex would have stopped 9 times out of 10 but failed on this attempt.
The third period didn’t prove any easier for the Admirals. At 5:45 in the 3rd Ben Smith got behind the defense and put a shot on goal that Dex was able to knock down with his glove but not contain. The Admirals’ Aaron Johnson tried to clear with a backhanded swing. Johnson was able to hit the puck but unfortunately for him, right into the crashing Evan Brophey. Brophey was able to gather the puck from the bottom of the near circle and put on a shot from a sharp angle that found the little daylight that Dekanich gave him. The goal was Brophey’s 3rd of the season giving the IceHogs a 3-1 lead.
That goal would be more than enough to beat the stagnant Admirals as the IceHogs went on to win 4-1. From the start of the match the Admirals seemed complacent and lacking on, well, offense (duh statement of the month, and coming from me that says a lot). With the lack of offensive production we could make excuses that the Admirals were still without their production guys in Klasen (15 goals) and Mueller (12 goals). We also could talk about how the vuvuzelas were super distracting and the Admirals couldn’t focus. Or we could even talk about why the NFL would move a game to Tuesday when they know Lane has Vick going at QB in his keeper league and needs 25 points to win it all.
Instead we should focus on some other questions, like why hasn’t Thuresson scored in over 2 months, or who is going to step up on this team and start to score goals.
Oh, and Blake Geoffrion? Your attempt at that fight pretty much summed up the entire game. Outmatched.
They’ll try again tomorrow against Houston. Feel free to leave a rant of your own in the comments section.