Admirals Defeat Aeros In Game One

A quick start, some puck luck, and the offensive re-appearance of Steve Begin were all keys in the Admirals 3-1 victory over the Houston Aeros in Game 1 of their playoff series Friday night.

Quick start:  The Admirals were up 2-0 before the game was 11 minutes old.

Puck luck:  The Aeros heard the sound “ping” after their shots on multiple occasions.

Begin:  Scored his first goal since November 28th against San Antonio, on that 10 game road trip way back when.

Begin recorded the first goal of the game at the 9:49 mark, starting the play with a big hit in the defensive zone, and then had all the time in the world after receiving a pass in the high slot while there was a delayed penalty.  Begin’s shot hit the top left corner of the net, and gave the Admirals the lead.

Taylor Beck scored 41 seconds later on a play that looked like a trick shot you might see at an All-star game.  From the top of the near circle, he flipped/floated the puck over Nate Prosser, went around Prosser, and met the puck in front of the crease when it came back down.  His backhander beat Matt Hackett.

On a power play later in the 1st period, the Aeros hit iron a couple of times, the loudest ping coming on a shot from Marco Scandella.

The second period was scoreless, but the team received a scare when Casey Wellman’s skate collided with Jeremy Smith’s helmet on a play.  Wellman was being worked over by Kelsey Wilson, lost his balance, and that’s how it happened.  Not a dirty play….just hockey play.  And boy, were we thankful Smitty was okay.

The Admirals were outshot 12-5 in the 3rd period, but their first one went in.  Ryan Thang had a shot on a play that resembled his OT winner in the Texas series.  He came in along the right wing, and a shot from the faceoff circle just flat out beat the goaltender.  No screen, no deflection.  Begin created the turnover in the neutral zone that sprung Thang on the rush.

The Aeors got one back about six and a half minutes later, as Colton Gillies put a juicy rebound into a wide open net.

Houston controlled the play for most of the last two periods, outshooting the Admirals 18-10 over that span.  And Coach Lambert knows they’ll need to be better in Game 2 on Sunday.


Here’s the recap from The Third Intermission.  Interesting discussion going on about roster management.

Let’s talk about Ryan Ellis’ debut.  You could tell there were a few moments where he looked like he needed to adjust to the timing of things up here.  But there were other times where he looked like he belonged, and hadn’t just been playing a full season in Windsor.  Ellis also got his first professional point, assisting on Beck’s 1st period goal.

Here’s the coach on Ellis’ night.

What kind of marks would you give his performance?

Game of inches sometimes.  Game would have looked a whole lot different if even one of those shots that hit iron went in.

Do you buy the whole “rust” thing, or do you find it a convenient excuse for a slow start?  This isn’t meant to be an attack on Houston, but rather a philosophical question.  When the Admirals have had slow starts after long layoffs, we’re heard the “R” word used.  What do you think?

Great to see Begin on the scoresheet again.  Gives us a chance to put a microphone in front of his face and let him wax poetic for awhile.

Did you even know that Watson and Latta dressed tonight?

Care to comment on the Mueller-Noreau pay-per-view heavyweight bout at the end of the second period?

Who would you give the hard-hat award to tonight?  Who played a great game, but didn’t get credit for it in the box score?  Call it for either team.

And what do the Admirals need to do to be better on Sunday?

9 thoughts on “Admirals Defeat Aeros In Game One”

  1. My quick 2 cents; I think we need to sit Bartlett for a night or two. Past few games he’s been sitting in the sin bin WAY too much (they must have great coffee in Johnson’s office). I think he needs to learn a lesson, and as much as I hate to say it, swap him and Santo for a game.

  2. What if we would have Teemu back Sunday? How about playing 7 dmen and sitting Bartlett? Just a thought…

  3. I thought Santo was hurt. I haven’t seen him at all in a while. Not even in warmups.

    Nice to see Ellis get a point right away.

  4. Didn’t see the fight at the end of second. How was it? Not everyday you see a pair of 50 point scorers dropping the gloves.

  5. Barlett didn’t play great, he seemed out of it. I’d address it and give another opportunity before sitting.

    Watson needs to be involved in the play more. He gets in front of the net well. Doesn’t seem like he’s taking advantage of the ice time to display his talent.

    Too many post ringers, but Smith has continued to play well and has done a better / noticable job of holding the puck the last two games. The stickless round was great for him.

    Ellis started with passing off the mark and not being in the play, but improved as the game went on and notched a point. Did he do enough to stay in or should Roussel get a look?

    A win is good. The Ads have to play a full game, clean up the mistakes and stay out of the box more in G2. Continue to spread the scoring around! Can’t wait!

  6. The best players on the ice last night IMO was Smith, Begin, and Van Guilder. I thought Van Guilder did a great job on faceoffs and played very well defensively, and everyone already knows how Smith and Begin played!

    For the second goal in which Ellis got an assist… did he make a pass and head to the bench for a line change? He’s not listed as being on the ice for that goal on the score sheet, yet got credit for an assist.

    Also IMO Mueller has to play smarter… he can’t get forced into scuffles/scrums/fights. He’s more important to us out on the ice than he is in the box. This is where we need a more physical guy out there – someone to take care of that business for Mueller, or anyone else.

    Finally, per AHL transactions, it says Teemu and Chet were reassigned to us on 4/28. Is that a mistake?

    04/28/2011 Chet Pickard (G) Milwaukee ADD Returned on loan from Nashville (NHL)
    04/28/2011 Teemu Laakso (D) Milwaukee ADD Returned on loan from Nashville (NHL)

  7. Ugh – ignore my last comments about the Teemu/Chet transactions, I saw the note in the previous posted story late ;)

  8. RE: The Ellis assist, thats exactly what happened Creedfeed. Sometimes it gets a little tricky at the stats table when that happens, but you were spot on, he played the puck up the ice, went off for a line change, and the new D pair were on when the goal was scored.

    Happy that we could get off on the right track against Houston. It was one of those games coming in where we were expected to be able to get the first one under the belt. Houston was coming off a break, we’ve dominated them at home, and its good to win those games you feel that you should win. Plus, its good to give Houston a taste of losing in the playoffs for the first time of the year. That being said, they are gonna come out on fire to start game 2, and the Admirals need to match that intensity. For me, game 2 may be won or lost in the first 10 minutes.

    I thought Cory Conacher was my unsung hero of the night. The kid isn’t always gonna show up on the scoresheet, but he does a GREAT job of cycling the puck in the zone and setting up chances. He was also throwing his body around at everyone last night, even the ginormous houston defenders.

    Smitty’s play on the 4 on 3 with no stick for 30 seconds was incredible. He made 2 or 3 saves, and obviously 1 goal would have changed things very quickly. Hell of a way to play for him.

    Ellis looked good. You can tell he’s a smart player and he by no means looked out of place. I’m very glad we went with him over Foss. Looking forward to seeing what Ellis can do while he’s here (because I’m not 100% sure he will spend much time here next year) Kind of scary when he’s paired with Josi though, 2 very offensive defensemen could lead to odd man breakaways the other way.

    All in all, great night.

  9. Hard hat award would be MVG he has played a gusty, gritty last 3 or 4 games, his faceoff wins have been huge and board play has been strong. It was a nice effort by the ads last nite but sunday they need to bring their A game and take game 2! Go ADS!!!!!!!!

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