Secondary Scoring Help Arrives, Ads Tie Series

Gabriel Bourque and Chris Mueller have provided the vast majority of Admirals offense in this series.  And Wednesday night in Texas, some other players stepped up to the plate.

Taylor Beck scored his first professional goal, and Mark Van Guilder scored the game-winner, as the Admirals held on to defeat the Texas Stars 3-2.

“Obviously we needed secondary scoring — that’s why we made some changes,” Coach Lambert said after the game.  Coach made changes on all four forward lines for tonight’s lineup.  “The Mueller Bourque Thang line is doing all the scoring for us.  We can’t win without secondary scoring.  Tonight we got it.”

Although it was Bourque who opened the scoring.  On a power play, Chris Mueller fed a cross-ice pass to Roman Josi, pinching to the far face-off dot.  Josi fired a quick pass to Bourque who had the open shot in the low slot, and beat Richard Bachman at 14:03 of the first period.

Scott Glennie tied the game at 6:25 of the second period, on a play in which I’ll equally credit Glennie and blame Jeremy Smith and Aaron Johnson.  Glennie put his first shot on net from the top of the near face-off dot.  Pretty easy save for Smith, but he kicked it right back out where it came from.  Glennie followed his shot, and Aaron Johnson was unable to tie him up or lift his stick.

About six minutes later, the Admirals regained the lead with Beck’s first professional goal.  (after the game, we’re still unsure whether someone grabbed the puck….we think Mueller may have picked it up).  On a power play, Grant Lewis had a good shot/pass from the near face-off circle that went off of someone’s skates in front of the crease….looked like it may have been Bourque’s, but they didn’t give him the assist.  The puck deflected to a wide open Beck at the bottom of the far face-off circle.

3:13 into the third, Van Guilder scored the eventual game winner.  Ryan Thang fed a pass towards Cory Conacher in the slot.  Conacher couldn’t quite control it, but neither could the defender that was tangling with him.  While they both unsuccessfully tried to play the puck, Van Guilder snuck in there and put a shot on net while he was being tripped.

The Stars got one back on a five-on-three power play that was just silly.  Aaron Johnson earned his cross-checking penalty, but Van Guilder was whistled for holding as the Stars broke out on a play from behind their net.  One of the tickiest-tackiest calls I’ve ever seen.  Greg Rallo got the the goal from the far face-off dot, on a play that Coach says they should have stopped.

“That five-on-three that they had, it’s a play that we’ve completely prepared for.  And we missed the assignment on it.  We’ve got to be better on that five-on-three.  I mean, we knew it was coming to Rallo.  He’s scored three OT winners from that spot this year.”

Down the stretch, the Admirals were able to hang on, and Mark Van Guilder comments on the mindset the team had on the cie during the waning minutes of the game.

“I think for some reason it felt differently today.  It felt like we were just playing better.  Yesterday it seemed like we were just holding on….  We saw it as more of a challenge this time, like we’re not going to let it happen again.”

NOTES AND QUESTIONS:

Lines:

Bourque – Mueller – Beck
Thang – Van Guilder – Conacher
Hunter – Bartlett – Thuresson
Santorelli – Latta – Begin

Ryan Flynn and Ben Ryan were scratched.  And I don’t think they were particularly missed.  Here’s Coach on the line changes…

“Beck got his first profesisonal goal, had a few other chances as well, so he looked good in the game.  We felt like he could probably come in and play with our top line.  He was a high point producer in junior and a high pick.  He came in and did a real good job tonight.  And we were able to balance our lines out a little bit more.  We put Conacher’s speed in the game as well, and i thought his battle level was real good. ”

What do you think of those line combos?  Potential?  Think we’ll see them again on Friday?

Smith had some issues playing the puck again tonight, and found himself fortunate the a shot didn’t go off his skates and in the net as he was scampering back to the crease.  Still, he made 30 and 32 saves on the night.  As touched on earlier, rebounds were still an issue, but for the most part, the defenders and backcheckers were able to scoot pucks out of trouble.

Herbie took a puck to the head on the bench.  He’ll be okay.  But officially, we’ll call it an upper-body injury. (har har har)

If we don’t see Mark Lemelin again for awhile, that would be okay with me.

It’s interesting to watch the Stars, because it sometimes seems that they can turn on their aggression and start to dominate play whenever they damn well feel like it.

Took them two and a half minutes to clean up their chuck a puck.  Our crew usually gets it done in less than 45 seconds.

Very strong game from Laakso and Josi.  Roman had a potentially game saving pass block on a 2-on-1 rush late in the game.  Lewis is getting caught up ice more and more often, but his physical play has been welcome.

Thuresson was horrible in the first period, but seemed to play with some more urgency the rest of the way.  Still, he is SHOTLESS in the series so far.  Shoot the puck Cal Andreas.

And finally, he’s Coach Lambert to wrap it up for the night.

“Key to Friday’s game is to understand that we need to have a better effort than we had tonight, and come out and take momentum right from the start.”

8 thoughts on “Secondary Scoring Help Arrives, Ads Tie Series”

  1. Did the chuck a puck crew get a delay of game penalty?

    Great road win! I look forward to Game 5 and especially Game 6 in Milwaukee!

    Begin didn’t play center?

  2. Well-deserved win and more importantly, a great response after a terrible final two periods and overtime on Tuesday. I saw this as a must win game and the Admirals delivered a strong effort.

    Ryan, I agree that it seems like Texas can turn on another level that their opponents can’t seem to reach–hence why they might be the most complete team in the West Division. Milwaukee can do the same, but I don’t think it tops out at the same height as the Stars. Still at times Texas plays offensively challenged hockey and gets stuck with the puck along the boards with frequency (again sounds like Milwaukee). Inconsistency seems to shoot the Stars in the foot…that sounds like the Dallas Stars.

    Despite the incredible production from the Admirals’ top line, I’m glad to see Lambert be willing to change things up. Tonight, I thought Milwaukee looked like a much more complete team with balance that has clearly been lacking. Thang this year has been Lambert’s utility infielder, effective in whatever position he is needed for.

    Though I doubt that Smith is ever going to steal a game, I have a hard time faulting his play. He was great last night and solid again tonight. Laakso and Josi have both found another level late in the season, and look NHL bound in the NEAR future. Well-deserved for Van Guilder as well he has been a nice surprise all season–hence the paper plate award.

    Even better, Milwaukee knows they can play better. This sets up an awesome game 5 and game 6 in what is becoming a great series. Incredible night of hockey tonight if you include perhaps the best set of NHL playoff games on one day that has ever occurred. Btw…started the recap last night when San Jose trailed 3-0, when I finished the Sharks tied it at 5, then won it overtime. Crazy stuff.

  3. Better, not good but better. Just enough to hold onto a lead this time at least.

    Loved the shake up in lines. It’s good to know we’ll have at least one more game at home.

  4. Good win by the Ads. This one was nervously close to being a repeat of the last game especially with the penalties at the end. Its a win though and that counts!!

    The difference in this game to me was that the flury of penalties in the 2nd of last game didn’t happen until later. My feeling is that helped or allowed us to hold on to the lead.

    On the first Stars goal, Smith gave up the rebound, Glennie didn’t quit, and Johnson couldn’t stop the second shot at a time Smith was just frozen in place. Tiny Elvis would have made that one.

    If Smith can control more of the rebounds I think it changes a lot in the game. This is what makes me belive he can steal a game – maybe not this year or series, but give up less rebounds and I think these are different games – especially since the Ads seem to be controlling the face offs.

    Thanks to HoJo and crew for the great viewing parties! I’m glad Aaron Sims misses you cuz it leaves you here, boy better back off. :)

    The Texas announcer commented that Dex was expected to be out Friday but there was a chance he’d be ready to go for game 6 or 7. Any news on our end about this?

  5. I didn’t have the opportunity to watch the game last night, but am glad they won.

    To quote a quote: “I think for some reason it felt differently today. It felt like we were just playing better. Yesterday it seemed like we were just holding on…. ”

    Could it be that coming into the game with a purpose, being determined to make things happen rather than react to what’s happening, can make a difference in the outcome? Where have I heard this before?

    This team’s problem all year has been between their ears, and nowhere else. Talent-wise, they’re as good or better than the best teams out there. If they can just keep the vibe going…

  6. We asked Coach about Dekanich, and we could see equal frustration from him in our question (because we ask it all the time) and from how long it has been taking Dekanich to recover. Injury info is pretty cryptic this time of year, but when Coach says he doesn’t know, I believe him. I think we all were hoping we’d have Dex back by now.

  7. Ben Ryan in and Santorelli sits. I get the feeling the only reason Mark gets to play is for his shootout ability. It’s definately not for anything else.

    Note to Lane: No shootouts in the playoffs.

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