Admirals Can’t Clinch West, Lose To Rivermen 4-3

The Admirals suited up 5 total players on ATO or PTO contracts and failed to convert on a chance to clinch the West, as they were defeated 4-3 by the Peoria Rivermen Sunday evening.  With Rockford defeating Texas 5-1, the Admirals could have become the “kings of the west” and clinched home ice advantage through most of the playoffs but alas it wasn’t meant to be.

Here’s the coach.

Only 3:37 into the game things weren’t looking good for the Admirals and unfortunately, worse for former Admiral Dave Scatchard. With Scatchard skating the puck into the zone from the near boards he passed the puck though the slot to a fellow Rivermen. After Scatchard passed, Scott Ford met him with a shoulder to the head and Scatchard went down.  He remained down and had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher. Ford was given a five minute major and a game misconduct for “checking to the head”. I am sorry if this seems kind of vague or non-descript and that is because I didn’t actually see the hit that sent him down, and the replay crew rightfully didn’t deem it replay-worthy.  Please feel free to give your description of the play in the comments section.

Coach Lambert doesn’t know if there will be a suspension, but didn’t think it was a dirty hit.

That was just the start for the Admirals and their penalty troubles as they committed five penalties in the 1st period alone. Mark Santorelli’s penalty came at the 9:58 mark for holding and just :19 seconds later the Rivermen put a crooked number on the board.  The goal has followed a theme this year and that theme is not consulting with the goal judge and making a unilateral decision on goal or no goal by the Referees.  This was no exception as Akim Aliu was the beneficiary of the hack job. Nathan Oystrick put a shot on net from the near circle that Atte Engren turned aside to the far side icing line. Aliu was there to put a shot on net that Engren had apparently covered. The Ref, Tim Mayer was against the boards at the far side of the ice with his hand up for a delayed penalty when his Go-Go-Gadget eyes saw the puck cross the line.

Here’s Coach Lambert’s token request for video replay.

The Rivermen capitalized on another of the aforementioned penalties. This one was courtesy of T.J. Hensick. Jeff Foss didn’t even have enough time to find out where to sit in the penalty box as the Rivermen only needed : 16 to convert on this odd man advantage. Again, Atte Engren stopped the first shot but was unable to corral the rebound and received no help from his defense. The puck was being peppered form in close with almost everyone in the crease when it came out far enough where a poaching Hensick picked up the puck, skated far side slot and put the shot past the screened Engren.

In the second period the Admirals were able to half the lead off a Chris Mueller goal while on the Double Rainbow Mountain Fury Power Play. The Admirals had the 5-on-3 advantage with Dean Arsene and Brennan Evans sitting in the box. For the Admirals, Roman Josi and Santorelli were playing catch with the puck with Josi in the near circle and Santorelli down low goal line level. They were seemingly lulling the Rivermen to sleep when Santo sent a quick and beautiful pass though the crease to Mueller awaiting back door. Mueller didn’t even have to do anything but angle his blade as the pass from Santo hit his tape the straight to the back of the net.

In the 3rd period, the fans didn’t even have time to sit down before the Admirals’ Gabriel Bourque lit the lamp to tie the game at two.  Just :44 into the third, Ryan Thang passed the puck to Bourque, who was down low below the goal. He tried to pass the puck back to the slot but it was deflected to netting on the back of the cage. Bourque hit the back of the net to get the puck to come down then proceeded to try a wrap around shot that successfully beat Allen far side. It was a great effort by Bourque to keep the play alive and beat Allen with a quick wraparound.

The game would not be tied for long as the Rivermen took back the lead at the 3:00 mark.  This was just a simple, ‘you messed up and I am going to make you pay’ goal as T.J Hensick intercepted a pass from Santorelli from inside the slot and beat Engren after a couple strides. No big deal right, we can get that ba….. Rivermen goal?!?!?! It took them 13 seconds to make Engren pay for his rubber glove.  Adam Cracknell put a harmless shot on net from the near side circle and Engren tried the glove save and failed with the puck falling in the crease allowing Stefan Della Rovere to take the loose change to the bank to give the Rivermen the 4-2 lead.  It was the fastest pair of opponent goals this season.

The Admirals refusing to go away quietly got their third goal of the night with the extra attacker on the ice in lieu of a goalie.  Andreas Thuresson was at the near side point he sent the pass rink wide to Teemu Laakso who wound up and fired one past Allen to give the Admirals a little more hope.  It was Laakso’s fourth in as many games.

That hope would fade into obscurity as the Admirals could not get the tying goal, despite a last half-minute flurry, making the final 4-3 in favor of the bad guys.


With 3:01 to go in the first period Ben Bishop stopped his second (yes second) shot on goal and after the puck started going the other way Bishop went down to his knees in pain and left the game. The only thing I can think is he got a puck under the pads.

Although I would not call Ford a thug, or a goon, or Matt Cooke, I do think he will get a couple games off without pay for his hit on Scatchard. The NHL is looking to get rid of shots to the head no matter the intention and I am sure the AHL has a lot of pressure on them to stay in line with their parent league.

Although the Admirals were down a man or two quite often in the first period they only managed to get 2 shots on goal…  Two… as in the second loneliest number since the number one.  I am no mathematician but I am pretty sure you don’t have a good chance of winning a period if you can’t muster more than my (Sutty’s) IQ in shots.

According to the coach, Grant Lewis and Aaron Johnson were scratched with injuries.  They are day-to-day.  Kelsey Wilson tore his MCL and stretched his ACL.  4-6 weeks is the latest timetable we’ve heard.

Not the worst thing in the world that Peoria got a couple of points.  Makes it that much tougher for the Wolves to make the playoffs.  And that would be preferable.


So how were the new guys tonight?  Foss?  Leaderer?  Watson?  Cahill?  Conacher?  Anything?  Here’s the coach.

Thoughts on Atte?  Rebounds?  Glove?  Interest in leaving the crease?

Bummed that they couldn’t clinch tonight?  Or is it just a stennank in the road that the team was probably due to have?

Anything else you want to talk about?

22 thoughts on “Admirals Can’t Clinch West, Lose To Rivermen 4-3”

  1. Foss, in my opinion, looked horrible. Completely lost the whole game and a lot of standing around and wondering where the hell he was supposed to be. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt because it was his first pro game and he may have been in a bit of shock. The rest of the group was just “eh”. Everything I said I liked about Cahill Friday night seemed to be missing tonight, but then again nobody really played with any emotion tonight.

    This was my first time seeing Engren in net and he made me nervous as hell. That 4th goal was because he was about 3 feet out of the crease and couldn’t get back in time. I think he needs to slow down a bit and quit the overpursuits, but it will (hopefully) come with experience.

  2. Wish I could comment on the Ford hit, like probably like you, I was watching Nesbitt shoot the puck from the far dot when the hit happened.

    So with all of the ATOs and PTOs, is Brock McBride out with an injury, lack of performance, or is it more just to see what the new guys can do before it actually matters?

    Left the game after the first in favor of Margarita Paradise. Right choice, or should I have looked elsewhere for a better (and cost-effective) dinner?

  3. There were so many new guys on the ice tonight it was as if I was watching a different team out there tonight. When you add in the injured vets to the likes of Engren and McBride, I had to look for familiar faces. But the new guys definitely add a lot of energy and speed out there. They also seem to add some toughness, which has been lacking all year.

    Speaking of which, I saw the Fordo hit and it didn’t look that bad to me at first, but Scatchard was counting birdies on the ice, for sure. It looked to me like Ford just got a good shot in as Scatchard was advancing to the goal. I doubt Ford meant to injure his former teammate, especially since it was early in the game and the puck was in a crowd. It looked unfortunate more than anything. If there’s a suspension, it shouldn’t be more than one game – if that. Heck, Ford could probably use the rest.

    Engren was a bit of a space cadet out there. He looked sharp in warm ups. He surely has the swagger. But he drifts out into the defensive zone and finds himself behind the goal at bad times. He doesn’t adjust well, either. That 4th goal was a wide open net because Atte had no idea where the puck went and froze. Dex would be flailing like he was having seizures, but Atte just sat there. Cost us the game.

    All in all, the game was interesting to watch. I’m sad we lost, but I agree that the hidden win here is that Chicago’s ticket to the playoffs gets more difficult to punch. If I have to, I’ll take that small win.

  4. Probably was out for warmups, seeing as this was the first game I’ve missed warmups.

    And Ryan, while I don’t mind your PA work… did you check out Facebook? You got classified as “horribad” by someone… not sure if thats a compliment or not?

    BTW, regardless of it was a clean or dirty hit… mad props to the video crew for playing not one, but two PSAs involving Scott Ford while attending to Scatchard. Was waiting for him to knock one of the kids in the video unconscious too, but fortunately that never happened.

  5. Matt Moore is an absolute pro, and we’re lucky to have him. It’s an honor just to keep his seat warm. The feedback doesn’t bother me. I’ve probably been called worse.

  6. The Ford hit wasnt that bad, just unfortunate. They did have a replay of it at the end of the second intermission.

    Watson and Cahill definately did not play like they did on friday.

    Conacher was alright. He’s got potential. Id like to see him and Cahill on a line together. Seems like they would have good chemistry.

    Leaderer seemed to play a pretty good game and saw few mistakes on his part..

    Josi had to have played over 25 minutes…he was out there a whole lot and it really slowed him down in the third. Foss was terrible which didnt help any.

    All in all it wasnt a great game but then again with so many new guys and only one consistent line (Bourque, Thang, Mueller) it really wasnt all that bad…considering the refs and that it made it harder for Chicago.

  7. Looking at the replay of the Ford/Scatchard hit, it looked as if Scatchard relaxed a bit because the puck was not playing his way. At just that time, Ford hit him from his blind side. A very unfortunate situation, but I don’t think it was anything intentional on Ford’s part. Sorry to disagree with ya’ll, but a replay 1. was either in order, as most of the people in the stands and on the ice were watching the play, not behind it, or 2. shouldn’t have been played at all. But the inhouse crew obviously decided that it was OK to play at some point in the game, because there it was on the tron. It looked more like the board crew had their heads up their nether regions tonight than it looked like they were actually thinking.

    Interesting watching Cahill. That kid was everywhere working to get his stick on the puck. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of him. Foss can go- enough said. The others didn’t garner much notice, so I guess that says something as well.

    The team, as a whole tonight, played the Jekyll role quite well. Basically just played like crap. It’s not even like we were outplayed; There wasn’t anything magical about Peoria’s playing tonight. That we couldn’t even put up shots on goal says a lot. How do you go from an average of 25.3 shots per game in the last week to a total of 16 tonight? And only 2 in the first period? Ouch!!

    Mabybe it was too many new guys. Maybe it was a case of playing different systems. Maybe it was more of the same Jekyll/Hyde playing we’ve seen all season long. Our defense was terrible, and that didn’t help Engren at all. I said it the day Smith started his first game earlier in the year- he was left to his own devices, and hung out to dry by the defense.

    And please, if the gods of hockey are listening, if we’re nutty enough to re-sign Palin, let the pen be out of ink come signing day.

  8. I understand it’s natural to feel ticked off for losing – there was a negative vibe in the air as the game came to a close, but I’m glad they lost. With Peoria gaining two points, it decreases the odds of the Admirals facing Chicago in the first round. For whatever reason, the Wolves have owned Milwaukee this season. I would welcome any of the other divisional foes for the first round instead.

    The Admirals position in the standings is solid, as it would take some creepy back luck not to have the best record in the conference after next weekend. But other than having home ice in the first three rounds, the #1 seed doesn’t mean squat. For me, the only goal that matters is holding the Cup in June.

    As for Ford’s hit – I saw it live and knew that Scatchard was hurt right away. It looked like he was going for a body check that caught Scatchard up high. He may have left his feet, but otherwise, it didn’t appear to be a “dirty” play. I simply hope that Scatchard comes out of this without any long-term effects.

  9. Ross and Conacher didn’t know where to be the whole game. Watson and Cahill were everywhere, but they both need to use their size. Maybe they were timid after the Ford hit and gamer.

    The third goal was a pass from Santo to Hensick. Santo played like a moron the whole game and commited 2 stupid penalties, he cost Milwaukee 2 goals. Engren should have been pulled after that fourth goal, but his D-men didn’t help him much.

    Nobody mentioned Aliu’s several cheap shots, most after the whistle. He came out of the penalty box and tried to run over Palin when the puck was 30 feet away. Aliu couldn’t get the puck away from an Admiral in the SE corner in the third period. After the Admiral passed the puck back to the point, Aliu skated after him and elbowed him in the face. Aliu also crosschecked somebody in that same corner early in the third period, seconds after the whistle. This ref had no guts and wouldn’t make the calls that happened in front of him. If anybody deserves a suspension, it is that POS Aliu! He tried to injure somebody 4 or 5 times and got away with it due to a poor ref. Bad call by the linesman on the long pass in the second period, it may have cost the Ads a goal!

    Last point of the night for me. I was watching the shooter and only saw Dave leaning to his left like the Tower of Pisa. Then he stiffly went down to the ice. I was just sitting down when they showed the replay. Half the audience missed it. Either show it when people can see it or not at all. What the replay crew did was pretty weinie!!!

  10. Gotta love the goal judge shaking his head after Engren caught it and pushed into the net… I cant recall the refs ever consulting a goal judge. That is probably the 3rd goal in 2 games that would have been over ruled in our favor. Definately need to get video replay in rulebook.

    That santo offside play was extremely picky call by linesman because even on the replay you could barely tell his rear foot was over the line.

  11. Some of the worst calls were made by the ref that I’ve seen all year in this one, surprised no one mentioned that yet.

  12. “Horribad” sounds like a double negative to me… Horrible at being bad…which makes you good.

    Any word on Scatch?

  13. From the Peoria Journal Star:

    Scatchard re-joined the team later Sunday night, and will see doctors in Peoria on Monday. He is out for the rest of the regular season. Standard procedure is that a player is required to sit out a week from the point all concussion symptoms cease.

  14. Good to hear he’s doing better. Not something you wish to happen to anybody, but sucks even more that it was him. Scary sight on the jumbotron!

  15. Scatchard has a long history with concussions, so I think that we saw his career come to an end last night. At 35 years old, having missed almost 2 full seasons due to concussion-related syndromes, he’s done. No team will take a flyer on him at this point, at that age, and with that baggage. Ironically, he revived his career in Milwaukee and then it ended in Milwaukee. Dave’s a good guy, so we all wish him the best and hope he can recover enough to enjoy the remainder of his life off the ice.

  16. Cahill looked decent on the ice, and looked to be overplaying on almost every play. With that being said, it was nice to see a young kid trying so hard, especially on a couple of checks he was involved in.

    Agree that we need video replay. It is getting ridicously on some of the calls as of late.

    Wish the best to Dave. The Tron picked up his eyes immediately after he fell to the ground and it was scary seeing his eyes not moving.

    As far as Bishop is concerned, he looked slow/injuried during the warmups. I sit directly behind the goal in 208, and during warmups he was moving extremely slow and sluggish. While I do not expect someone to give it their all during the warmups, something seemed wrong from the entire get-go with him. Could be wrong on this, but I think his injury was from something more than the 2 shots he faced during the game.

  17. I thought Bishop looked hurt after he stopped our first shot. So I think MDG is probably right.

    Cal O’Reilly and Steve Sullivan practiced today. Rumor has it they might be back soon. It’s still possible we may get Geoffrion and Halischuck back yet. I know I’m crossing my fingers!

  18. Would o’reilly be able to come to milwaukee on like a conditioning asignment? just curious. I doubt that we would get Geoffrion back unless they are out of the playoffs. Looking forward to seeing Beck and Latta and what they can do.

  19. Not saying that Lambert lost the game by any means here, BUT, with the large amount of new faces, new pairings on defense, and having scored a goal with under 2 min left in the game why did he not call the time out? Now i know that there is the whole thought of keep the mojo from the last goal going and maybe get another but peoria has alot of smart players. Also knowing we had played well up a man at times in the game they were going to try and play keep away with the puck and they did for about 45sec in our zone. MVG tried to get but couldnt not until the 1min warning did anyone come down and apply pressure i feel that if there was a little more of a plan they could have gotten the puck quicker got up ice and generated more opps. still feel that this team has done more with less with injuries, call-ups and new players its tough but they have found ways to do it. I like what Atte is showing he needs some help (from the d-men) i strongly feel we are only seeing a little bit of what he can really do, just need more exposure and time

  20. Watching the game, there was ZERO flow against Peoria…sure we had a lot of new guys, but so does every other team. PTO’s and ATO’s are there for a reason, to mix it up. As for Cahill, the kids got some talent. Foss is a stay at home defenseman and not a guy who your gonna see up in the play, so he played his position well. Leaderer wasn’t to shabby either. I think the boys need to get the Flow back into the game, and we will be on our way for playoffs.

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