The Admirals continued their hot start –their best since the 04-05 season — as they moved their record to 3-0 after a 3-2 shootout win over the Chicago Wolves Saturday night in Rosemont.
Michael Latta, Ryan Thang, Kyle Wilson, and Juuso Puustinen all scored in the shootout, while Jeremy Smith made two saves on the four shots he faced.
Here’s Coach Muller on his shootout lineup.
The Admirals got the first goal for the second straight night. Jani Lajunen deserves some credit for a good forecheck in the Wolf D-zone that stalled the Chicago breakout. Once the Wolves were able to gain control of the puck again, their clearing pass was intercepted by Victor Bartley just inside the blue line. He had a quick pass to Kyle Wilson in the high slot, and he skated down Broadway, and beat Chicago goalie Eddie Lack.
About 5 minutes later, the Wolves answered back with a fluky goal. A dump into the offensive zone bounced off the end boards back in front of the goal line. Smitty was caught behind the net, and a sliding Ryan Ellis couldn’t stop Matt Clackson’s shot in close.
Two minutes later, Chris Mueller put the Ads back on top, and Chicago D-man Yann Sauve should get the primary assist. In his own defenseive zone, Sauve made the perfect pass to Mueller on the tape, and his shot from the far side beat Lack high. Again, the Admirals cashed in on what Coach Muller describes as kind of a high IQ forecheck.
In the second period, there was a lot penalty action for both teams, with some questionable calls going both ways. But neither team’s power play unit could convert.
The Wolves did tie the score on a play that featured a lot of Admirals just waving their sticks at puck carriers. Victor Oreskovich fired a shot from the point that went off of Ryan Ellis, and changed direction enough to beat Smitty high. The deflection came from above the faceoff circles, and one could argue that it’s a shot Smitty needs to stop.
The Wolves had a goal waived off late in the period, as Francis Charron ruled that the puck went in off of a high stick before it dribbled past the goalline.
Chicago carried most of the play in the 3rd period, but the Admirals got somewhat of a second wind with a power play chance in the 2nd half of the period. The teams ended the game tied in shots.
And yes — the Admirals string of road games with at least a point is now at 18 games. Pretty slick.
Champagne – Mueller – Thang
Wilson – Lajunen – Puustinen
Cahill – Van Guilder – Flynn
Stortini – Latta – Beck
Ellis – Sloan
Ford – Bartley
Aronson – Valentine
– Sloan left the game after being hit — a “clean hit” Coach said after the game. They’ll have a better idea of the damage tomorrow.
– This was Taylor Aronson’s pro debut, and with Sloan out, he was playing some pretty meaningful minutes late in the game. And Coach gives him high marks on his first game.
– Lajunen continues to be a monster on the forecheck. One thing that we’ve seen with the Admirals in the first three games is that there are times when they make things very difficult for the opponents to get the puck out of their defensive zone. And it’ll be even better when we get Gabriel Bourque back in the lineup.
– Power play was not as sharp tonight. Passes not clicking as easily as they seemed to yesterday. And Eddie Lack was pretty solid for the game, when he wasn’t hung out to dry.
– Taylor Beck has played on a different line in all three games. He has been underwhelming thus far. Doesn’t look like a guy that scored 95 points last season. For some perspective, Mark Santorelli scored 101 his last season in juniors. Beck is here to develop into a power forward, and we’re not seeing a lot of power yet. But coach says that this line hopping isn’t due to his play.
– The Wolves and Rivermen remain winless in the division.
Questions for discussion — If Sloan misses some time, who do you bump up to play with Ellis? How has Beck met your expectations thus far? Do you think Aronson and Valentine held their own as the 3rd defensive pair? Do you wish we didn’t have to wait until the end of next week for the next game? When you travel, do you like Rosemont or Rockford better?