Admirals Advance After Double-OT Win

(We’ll throw in a bunch of audio in a separate post tomorrow….let’s just let it sink in for now, okay?)

I think you would be hard pressed to find two teams that are any more evenly matched than the Milwaukee Admirals and the Texas Stars. Game 6 went to extra innings and this was the 3rd time it  happened this series. Both goaltenders were solid, special teams were, well, special and this was another epic game. But alas, much like Highlander, there can be only one… Winner, that is….  Tonight, that winner was….. We’ll find out right after these messages…..  Okay, I am sure you read the headline. It was the Admirals that went supernova on the Stars when Mark Van Guilder scored at the 10:42 mark of the second overtime on Monday evening at the Bradley Center.

The win is good enough to clinch the series and send the Admirals to the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs, where they will face the Houston Aeros. The series will start this Friday at the Bradley Center and you better get your tickets, yo.

But let me tell you about this great game six, and how the Admirals  were able to advance to the second round.

The Admirals struck first at 4:20 into the initial period, with Mike Bartlett getting his first goal of the series. Andreas Thuresson tried to drive the puck to the net from the short side. The puck was stopped as Thuresson and Kelsey Wilson both tried to hack it in. Wilson got a piece of the puck and it caromed to Bartlett crashing the short side and fired it home for the 1-0 lead.

The Stars were able to even the score at 4:41 into the second stanza with Taylor Beck in the sin bin for a holding the stick penalty.  Dan Spang skated through the slot and fired a shot from between the circles. The shot was turned aside by Jeremy Smith but the rebound came back out towards the far side. Scott Ford attempted to clear the puck to the boards but was robbed by Colton Sceviour, who put the shot in the net to tie the game.

The Admirals started the 3rd period off with a bang.  Just 1:22 in, Thuresson (finally) lit the lamp to give the Ads a 2-1 lead. Wilson was down low and sent a pass to Bartlett along the far side. After Bartlett gathered, he sent the puck to the high slot where Thuresson fired a wrister that beat Bachman. The Admirals had great movement with the puck and Wilson had a nice screen going in front to make the play a little harder for the net minder.

The Texas Stars would not be out done as Travis Morin tied up the game with a nifty goal. Raymond Sawada, Admirals nuisance extraordinaire, was behind the net when he found Ondrej Roman in the near-side circle. Roman sent a pass to Morin in the slot drawing his back to the net. Morin then spun around sending a no-look backhand shot that found the top right corner of the cage. This was a definite ‘hats off to ya’ kind of play that can only be credited to a great shot.

So we went to the first overtime period, where the Stars outshot the Admirals 13-2.  And the Stars dominated the period even more than that stat suggests.  The Admirals even had some PK time, but were able to keep it out of the net.

The ice was a little more even in the second OT period.  And all it took was one sequence in the offensive zone to net the game winner.  Ryan Thang was tripped up at the blue line trying to enter the zone. He got up and stole the puck back from the defender and carried the zone. Thang then put a shot on Bachman from the near circle along the boards. The rebound came right back from the direction it was shot, and Van Guilder gathered it and sent the puck to the back of the net, and sent the Stars packing.

What an exciting series.


If the Admirals had lost this game….would it have been pretty demoralizing?  Like, no chance to win game 7?

Kelsey Wilson had a goal disallowed near the end of the 2nd period, as he hiked the puck in the net.  Bummer that the call went against us, but the ref was right there, and we think it was the right call.

Special teams – the Stars 1-8 (and they scored on an abbreviated power play), and the Admirals were 0-3.  Think some of them were kind of ticky-tack for a playoff game of this magnitude, and weren’t exactly called both ways.  But pretty much every team can say that after any game.  So we won’t harp on that.

The penalty kill is only as good as your goalie, and the Admirals penalty kill was pretty darn good.  Speaking of goalies, Bachman played pretty lights out too.  Give us your best adjective to describe the goaltending in this game.

Josi and Laakso were good.  They were very good.  They’ve been quietly awesome this series.

Wilson was great in front of the net.  Glad to have him back.

Thuresson – it’s great that you scored.  You’re still on notice.

We made not have sold out the arena, but the fans that showed up were fantastic.  You could feel the playoff energy in the stands.  And thanks to everyone who made it through night with me on twitter.  I was in a dark place, and you gave me light.  Smiley-face, winky, clown.

So.  Friday and Sunday here.  Tuesday, Thursday, Friday down there.  And then Sunday (Mother’s Day) and Tuesday here.  Put it on your calendars, and bring Mom to the games.

We’re hoping to cash in our fake Internet money that Roundy’s totally owes us, so we can get down to Houston.  We’ll let you know how that goes….

12 thoughts on “Admirals Advance After Double-OT Win”

  1. You may not harp on special teams but I will– 1/8 on the PP is inexcusable for the Stars, bad calls or not (and at least one call against the Ads was VERY bad).

    Josi and Laakso were indeed dynamite. And Smith, incredible. Made some jaw-dropping saves.

    Thanks for a thrilling series and sensational hockey. Will be watching every game against the Aeros on AHLlive rooting you guys on.

  2. We left in the 2nd OT because I had to go to work!!! Of course as soon as we hit the escalators, the air horn sounded…so I got to at least HEAR the GWG!

    Bonander, I’ve got to say, between here and Facebook, I’ve seen nothing but awesome comments from Stars fans, something we don’t get to see too often in Milwaukee. So thanks a bunch, you guys have turned me into a Stars fan in the future (except for when they play MKE, of course)!

  3. Bonander, I totally agree with Mark. I’ve enjoyed your comments. The game could have went either way. Our teams are SO evenly matched it’s pitiful. And you guys also have a very good goalie. But didn’t miss Tousignant – where was he btw?? The Stars played alot cleaner without him.

    The game was really a great match-up, 2 teams fighting til the bitter end. I too, had to go to work, so glad it didn’t go any longer! Also glad it didn’t go to game 7, don’t know if we would have had the same results.

    I personally think Scott Ford knocked that goal in our net. I also think Thang fell on his own at the end, and wasn’t tripped. When he got a pass it hit his stick and it looked like he just fell over. Others near me thought the same.

    Josi and Laakso have been awesome. Scott Ford I still have issues with. Is Hunter injured again? I preferred him over Flynn.

    Thuresson needs to still crank it up a couple notches.

    Crowd was great!

    Bring on Houston!!

  4. The replay during the intermission showed Ford swatted at the puck but the Stars player’s stick was in front of his and the Stars player did in fact hit the puck, not Ford.

    What a game though! Even better, what a series!!! Nothing beats playoff hockey!!! The Admirals looked so fatigued half way through OT1 and the Stars looked so energized that I didn’t think we’d make it past that PK.

    Besides my pet peeve of people shouting “SHOOT IT” through the entire game, I hate when you get a ref (or two) who decide to make ticky-tack calls in the playoffs. They let half that stuff go through the regular season and then call it in the playoffs. The obvious stuff, sure, call it. But the phantom crosschecks and holds, come on… hah. That is actually one thing I’ve appreciated in the NHL playoffs so far this year. Almost all of the games I’ve watched, the refs have been fairly decent, which is surprising seeing as many of those guys were in the AHL the last couple of seasons hah!!

  5. Creed I cannot agree with you more on the “Shoot It” yelling! It’s ridiculous!!! At one point during the game last night Bourque had the puck behind the Stars’ net and was surrounded by at least two Stars defenders containing him behind it and yet, I still heard somebody behind me screaming, “SHOOT IT!”

    Now, I know Bourque has upped his game tremendously over the past few weeks, however, unless they teach you how to manipulate the laws of physics in Quebec, there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell he would ever make that shot!

  6. Bachman is a beast, one of those real special players and we had just enough to get by him what a series! Smith did everything you could ask and more come on 52saves who saw that comingg into the series?! Great game!!! Ot takes years off your life for sure, stars fans seem very respectful and I’m glad to see some came for this series! Let’s get revenge on houston for two years ago and win this series!! Go ads!!!!!!

  7. Well, they came out and proved me wrong. My apologies to all for being a doubting Thomas.

    Smitty had a great game, as did Bachman. He sure was upset when the puck flew past him for the last time. Both teams worked hard at learning what the other had in their bag of tricks, and that made for a long and brutal game last night.

    There was plenty going on last night to crab about, but what’s the sense. The Ads won, and they’re on their way to the next round. Best of luck to them!!

  8. Remember this: Jeremy Smith was the co-MVP (with MVG) on the Cyclones’ run to the ECHL championship last year. These guys have some big game experience under their belts. Latta, Beck, and some of the other junior league players all come to the Ads after falling out of their respective playoff tournaments. So these guys have what it takes to win. The big problem is that we are a collection of parts and not a solid team because so many players are hurt and others just joined the team. It’s a testament to the players for their solid play and the coaches for having those players play as a unit. Great game. Great series. Onward and upward.

  9. What a night for Milwaukee’s secondary scoring options and what a huge lift seeing that scoresheet must be for coach Lambert. Barlett, Van Guilder, Thuresson big, big contributions tonight. In a series where Milwaukee and Texas’ top lines went toe-to-toe, the Admirals got just enough offense from other sources at the end of the series to push Milwaukee through.
    Simply put, taking Smith out of the net right now would be crazy. That’s his net until proven otherwise–what a run he on is on.
    This was an amazing series and expect the next round against Houston to be just as tough.
    PS. Fans that frequently yell “SHOOT” are my biggest pet peeve of all of in hockey. They are just as bad if not worse than “Get in the Hole!” guy at a golf tournament or “You Da Man!” There are times that constructive criticism can be useful from the crowd (a well-timed or placed heckle, or boo), but usually players don’t shoot because they know their shot will be blocked. A blocked shot up high can result in a breakaway the other way, and professional players are unbelievably good at blocking shots.
    The “Shoot” razzing got so bad at a Minnesota Wild game that I attended a few years back that my friend decided to shut the guy up by yelling “shoot” when a defenseman had the puck back behind his own net with the crowd deathly silent (resulting in plenty of laughs). Thankfully, that made “Shoot” guy quiet for the rest of the night.

  10. Where was Tousi, good question. All we knew is that he didn’t even make the trip to Milwaukee, and that he didn’t come out for game 5’s OT, so presumably something occurred then. It should surprise no one that Tousi is a fan favorite here in Austin.

    All told, it’s easy to root for Milwaukee, at least for me, in large part because no true hockey fan could walk away from almost any of the 12 games we played this season feeling dissatisfied or robbed of a quality hockey game. I never felt any of the Ads were cheap players or that any of their accomplishments against us were not earned.

    That said, I KNEW we were doomed when we didn’t score in the first OT. I just knew it. We were all over the ice, creating great scoring chances and generally dominating. My worry was that, if it went to double OT, it would give the Ads 15 minutes in the locker room to say “OK, we dodged a bullet, let’s not let that happen again.”

    I’m not going to take up anymore space moaning about the Stars miscues or other shoulda-beens, I’ll just say thanks very much for the friendly hospitality and again, good luck against Houston. They seem to have not missed a beat since losing Khudobin, but I think Hackett’s got holes, and I hope the Ads find them.

  11. Congrats to both teams, the Admirals for winning and Texas for excellent play. It is a shame that one of them had to lose in the first round. Texas would have been a better opponent for the second or third round; they were that good.

    Three of the eight penalties on Milwaukee were bogus. The only correct call in the second period was the disallowed goal. I thought the crowd was going to knock the glass down by the visitors/refs exitway. Those two sections were really agitated by the refs. Shades of the Derek Martin game. The other ref (46) seemed to want to call penalties on Texas as the game went on. He didn’t like something one of their players said in the third period. The other ref balanced “Hebert the Horrible” some, but together they were really substandard to a degree that was almost criminal in a playoff game! Hebert should sit out the rest of the playoffs, he was that bad.

    The Stars dominated the third period and the first OT. The second OT was even. The Stars are a good skating and passing team and constantly pressure the puck.

    Bonander: Come back to this blog in the future! I greatly appreciate your comments.

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