The third period had all the makings of a sad story of collapse. But a questionable Houston goal was answered in short order by an Admiral goal, and Milwaukee skated out of Toyota Center with a 5-3 win over the Aeros Tuesday night.
Let’s address the elephant in the room right away. The AHL needs to have video replay in every arena. There’s no excuse to not have it. But since we don’t have it, how on earth can Mark Lemelin, in perfect position, waive off a Jarod Palmer goal, and then at the next whistle, be convinced that he waived it off in error? The goal judge never turned on their light, so is he even supposed to be consulted? If the replays on the video board had any impact at all on the reversal, Lemelin should be terminated. Immediately. Every team in the league had good goals waived off due to human error. It’s the reality of the league. Obviously, we aren’t privy to the conference of the zebras on the ice, but I don’t know how anybody could/should have been able to get him to over-rule himself. Nobody was in better position, and even though the replays made it look to be the right call, he is not supposed to have the benefit of replays. The Admirals should have gotten away with that one.
Fortunately for the Admirals, it didn’t matter.
After they awarded Palmer the goal to make the score 4-3, and after they put some time back on the clock, it took the Admirals 27 seconds to answer back. Mike Bartlett put in a juicy rebound of a Steve Begin shot.
Jared Spurgeon opened the scoring with a power play goal, sneaking in the back door on the far side. From the replay, it looked like it was Begin’s missed assignment. But it was a great pass from Robbie Earl, and a nice finish that beat Jeremy Smith.
The Admirals would tie it at the end of the period, thanks to some nice passing as a power play was ending. On one last rush, Aaron Johnson had a cross-ice pass to Ryan Thang on the far side. He put the puck on net, and it was deflected by Van Guilder past Matt Hackett. The goal came a second after the power play expired.
In the second period, the Admirals scored a pair more. Ryan Thang converted a rebound of a Scott Ford shot into an open net. And then about five minutes later, Andreas Thuresson reappeared, and cashed in after some great plays from Grant Lewis and Begin. Lewis had a strong play bringing the puck down low towards the net. The puck came to Begin behind the net, and his slick pass found Thuresson all alone in the slot.
Then there were four goals over a 2:17 span in the middle of the 3rd period.
Marco Scandella scored a power play goal from the bottom of the near circle that looked like it could have been waived off too. Tough to tell from the one replay Toyota Center showed. But okay, ref was there, it’s a good goal. We move on.
Steve Begin answered 1:19 later finishing a 3-on-2 rush. Thuresson, to Bartlett, to Begin in front of the crease.
Palmer somehow got behind everybody and his shot did beat Smith. And that play led to Lemelin-Gate 2011.
First, the lines.
Bourque – Mueller – Beck
Wilson – Van Guilder – Thang
Begin – Bartlett – Thuresson
Ryan – Hunter – Santorelli
We’d like to give an extra special ‘welcome back to the playoffs’ to that 4th line, which I thought played very well as an energy line tonight. High marks for all four lines, actually. While the 1st line didn’t yield any goals, they had some nice moments too.
Biggest difference between game 2 and game 3? Chaos in front of Hackett. As in, there was none on Sunday, and the Admirals were able to drive to the net and be a bit more distracting tonight.
Both Smith and Hackett channeled their inner-Pekka Rinne, making some insane saves at times. Both teams missed some open nets too. There were rebounds aplenty on both ends, but the Admirals were the superior team tonight when it came to getting help from the defensemen clearing pucks out of danger.
Scott Ford was whistled for interference in the 2nd period. But the clock kept running after the play stopped for about another 25 seconds. Dean “The Dream” Zanoni would NEVER let that happen!
You can check out some thoughts from Andrew at The Third Intermission here. There are some quotes from the Houston coach (who isn’t interested in giving the Admirals credit for the game). Andrew points out that it was the same forward line out there when the Admirals answered back both times in the 3rd period. It’s a good read, and I recommend that you give it a gander.