Special teams were indeed special on Friday night, and behind three Mountain Fury power play goals, the Admirals were victorious in their home opener. The Ads outran the Chicago Wolves 4-2.
In the first period, the Admirals put 15 shots on net, and scored two power play goals. Juuso Puustinen scored his second of the year off of a great pass from Chris Mueller. And then Ryan Thang capitalized on a Kyle Wilson shot that beat Chicago goaltender Eddie Lack, but didn’t quite make it past the goal line. Thanger spotted it and finished the job.
The new Captain of the Wolves, Darren Haydar scored a power play goal for the Wolves in the 2nd period. He had the puck on the goal line on the far side and tried to thread a pass to to the low slot. The pass was blocked and kicked right back to him, and he put a quick shot on Smitty from a tough angle. There was some daylight there on the short side as Smitty was trying to get back to the pipe after playing the pass.
So the Admirals started the 3rd period nursing a 2-1 lead, the same way they did on opening night in Peoria. And in a similar fashion, they scored a goal in the first five minutes. With Michael Davies serving a tripping penalty for the Wolves, Chris Mueller scored his first of the year. We’ll let him explain how it happened.
Jordan Schroeder got another power play goal for the Wolves about seven and a half minutes later, and it was one that Smitty would like to have back. Skating in along the right wing boards he put what seemed to be a harmless shot on net. That one was a softie.
Taylor Beck scored the empty netter — a shot from center ice that came seconds after another Beck shot from the slot was blocked by a Wolves defender.
Thang – Mueller – Beck
Wilson – Lajunen – Puustinen
Champagne – MVG – Flynn
Cahill – Latta – Stortini
– Mueller had a four point night, with a goal and three assists. Kyle Wilson had 2 helpers as did Ryan Ellis. Ryan Thang had a goal and an assist.
– With the offense that first line is providing, Coach Muller has reason to be pleased. But here’s why he is REALLY pleased with that first line.
– How about that Admiral power play? Looked like they had purpose out there. That first power play unit had Thang, Wilson, and Mueller down low, and Ellis and Puustinen at the point. Do you like Puustinen on the point like we used to see Cal O’Reilly do it? Here is Coach’s thoughts about Juuso on the point.
– There were a couple of big hits from Valentine that sent him to the box. One an open ice collision that drew a hit-to-the-head penalty. And then a boarding penalty in the 3rd period that the Wolves eventually scored on. Was your first reaction A) nice hits or 2) What would Shanahan say about them if this was his jurisdiction?
– This is fun — the Admirals have yet to yield an even strength goal in their two games.
– Bourque is day to day and will probably be back after tomorrow’s game. Josi is day to day, but he’s starting to work out, so that’s a good sign. They’re being cautious with both of them.
– Here’s Coach talking about the move to send Chet Pickard down to Cincy.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION:
Did you like the pre-game tribute and the post-game salute? What’s the best adjective to describe the fancy schmancy new Admiral power play? Do you like seeing Puustinen on the point like that? Was it weird seeing the Wolves without guys like Squirrel-Face, Spencer Machacek, and Riley Holzapfel? Thoughts on the Valentine hits? Which of the new guys impressed you tonight? Which guys didn’t?