Ads Hit Holiday Break On High Note With 3-1 Win

After a less than stellar effort against Rockford last night, the Admirals were able to hit the holiday break on a high note, after a 3-1 victory over the Peoria Rivermen Sunday evening.

Kyle Wilson and Chris Mueller both had a goal and an assist, and Atte Engren was solid in net for the Ads, stopping 29 of 30 shots.

This moves the Ads record to an unprecedented 5-0 against Peoria this season.  We asked Coach Herbers what he attributes the success to.

The Admirals hit the holiday break with a 17-8-0-1 record, putting them in second place in the division, one point behind the Charlotte Checkers…who have played four more games.

With 3:02 remaining in the game, Tyler Sloan went to the box for a cross-checking penalty, and the Rivermen pulled goaltender Jake Allen for the extra attacker, setting up a 6-on-4 power play.  1:17 later, Teemu Laakso went to the box for a holding penalty, so Peoria had some time to skate 6-on-3.  But the penalty killers did a great job getting into passing lanes, and were able to kill everything off.

The penalty kill had been a weakness for the Ads of late…Coach Herbers talks about their effort tonight at the end of the game.

The Rivermen scored first, and it was courtesy of Admirals nemesis/pest Brett Sterling. TJ Hensick had a shot from the top of the far circle that was saved.  After drawing a delayed penalty, Sterling won the battle in front of the crease, and put it in past Atte Engren.

The Admirals tied the game about midway though the game while on a delayed penalty of their own.  It had to have been about 40 seconds with the extra man when Kyle Wilson scored from a sharp angle at the bottom of the near faceoff circle.  Chris Mueller had the pass from behind the net before Wilson scored his 5th of the year, and first one since being returned from Nashville.

The Admirals were awarded a power play after Jonathan Cheechoo boarded Chris Mueller along the far boards in the Ads defensive end.  Mueller skated off on his own power, and took his next shift on the power play.  Mueller said after the game that he didn’t see the train coming (sorry….too easy), but chalked it up to a hockey play instead of a dirty play.

Exactly two minutes after the penalty was assessed, Mike Latta scored what would eventually be the game winner.  Taylor Beck had a shot from the top of the circle that deflected off of Ryan Thang in the slot…..right to Latta low in the near face-off circle.  Allen didn’t make it over in time before Latta scored his 9th of the season.

With 4:55 left in the third period, Chris Mueller scored an insurance goal after a give-and-give-and-go play with Kyle Wilson.  I was afraid they were going to get burned for making one pass too many, but Mueller was able to finish for his 10th goal of the season.



Bourque – Van Guilder – Flynn
Wilson – Mueller – Puustinen
Geoffrion – Latta – Thang
Beck – Lajunen – Stortini

Blum-Laakso, Sloan-Ellis, Ford-Bartley

In the second period, Herbie shook up his lines a bit…dropping swapping Geoffrion and Beck.  Here’s what he said about it after the game.

I don’t know.  My thought is that it was a promotion for Beck — and it worked, as he assisted on Latta’s goal.  I didn’t like Blake’s weekend.  If he was making these kinds of mistakes in Nashville, he would have been sent down to Milwaukee.  Sloppy passes in his own end and in the offensive zone too…dumb stick infraction penalties… He wasn’t anywhere close to being the best player on the ice.  If he was supposed to come here and dominate at this level, he failed.  Maybe my expectations are too high on that… But if he’s on his way back to Nashville tomorrow, it certainly isn’t because he played his way back.

I asked Coach Herbers which of the guys that were sent down (Blum, Geoffrion, and Wilson) had the best weekend.  He kind of punted.

Blum I thought was better tonight….(although he was the victim of a bum holding penalty when he lifted Sterling’s stick and Sterling tumbled to the ice.  Good to see Sterling get the dive call on that.)  I thought Wilson showed up for the first time this weekend when he scored in that second period, and pretty good the rest of the game.

– Blum tweeted that he’s on his way back to Nashville.  Don’t know if he’s just going to be “in residence” or when he’ll officially be recalled and paid as an NHL guy.  Roster freeze starts tonight, Admirals don’t play again until the 26th.  Whatever happens will be.

– Sterling is such a pain.  Can I just reiterate that?

– Didn’t like Fordo’s game either.  Engren bailed him out a couple of times.  Tough to scratch the captain though.  Sorry, Scott Valentine.

– This is an awfully negative recap after a big 3-1 win.  Let’s get back to Engren.  I’ve figured out his deal.  He’s the Admirals version of Rex Grossman.  The Redskins have Good Rex and Bad Rex.  The Admirals have Good Atte and Bad Atte.  Great to see him rebound after being pulled in his last start.  Here’s more from the Coach.

– So we’re at the break now.  Coach says he’ll get some time to relax, but they’ve got a game to prepare for…

So Roundtable….here are your discussion questions….

– Am I being too hard on Boomer?
– What did you think of Blummer’s game?
– Would you have liked to have seen Valentine out there?
– Thoughts on the penalty scramble at the end of the game?
– Why do the Ads have the Rivermen’s number?
– Anything else you’d like to comment on about the game?

12 thoughts on “Ads Hit Holiday Break On High Note With 3-1 Win”

  1. Engren is very aggressive in the net, he doesn’t like to wait for the puck to come to him, he’d rather go after it.. Sometimes (like tonight) it works, other times it doesn’t. Fortunately for him this is a development league and he has time to find out what’s best for himself.

    I thought you guys had been really tough on Ellis to begin the season, but man, as time goes on, I’m buying your criticisms. He does not look like a player who was in the running to make Nashville straight out of camp. I know they drafted him as an offensively gifted-defenseman, but get him off the power play team. He couldn’t hold the line if he were stapled to it and the puck were made of poutine (sorry for the Canadian stereotype, but I felt it necessary there).

  2. – Am I being too hard on Boomer?
    No, you aren’t. He sucked like a Dyson this entire weekend.

    – What did you think of Blummer’s game?
    His game last night was nothing special, and scoring 2 goals in Rockford should bring out something positive, but I just can’t do it. Just as with Geoffrion, he should have brought more to the dance, but just plain didn’t.

    – Would you have liked to have seen Valentine out there?

    Yes, Valentine brings some physicality to defense where Sloan is timid and Ellis is just plain too small- he bounces like a rubber ball (sew some pockets onto his breezers and fill ’em with horseshoes for weight).

    – Thoughts on the penalty scramble at the end of the game?

    It looked more like the ref was trying to even out the odds, as most of the calls were somewhat ticky. Although the dive by Sterling has already been nominated for an academy award.

    – Why do the Ads have the Rivermen’s number?

    I’d turn that around and ask why don’t the Rivs have the Ads number. Our defense is generally lacking, and as a result we consistently hang the goalie out to dry. Engren had to work for the win, and he managed to make up for the defences shortcomings. Once again, when the puck ended up behind our net, one Riv could keep 2, and at least once, 3 Ads busy.

    – Anything else you’d like to comment on about the game?

    It looked last night like we had a team comprised of O’Reillys. Everyone seemed to be more intent on pass, pass, passing the puck rather than just getting it on net. Lots of missed opportunities, as well as a gob of turnovers because of it.

    Thanks, Mark, for the poutine reference. Now I’m hungry…

  3. You are definitely not too hard on Geoffrion. He looked terrible. He played like he couldn’t care less, like he knew this was a weekend thing and he’d be gone by Monday. I’ve absolutely no idea why the Predators are high on him. I think Mueller skates circles around him.
    Thought Blum was shaky too but TPTB will look at his goal output and think he had a good weekend.
    Latta continues to impress.
    Have a very happy holiday week everybody!

  4. Not sure exactly what some of you people have against Ellis. Haven’t actually seen a game from way up here in Canada but from what the stats tell me, you just really have nothing better to do with your time. Hey naysayers, goals, assists and +/- don’t reflect your reflections. Check out the pp goals against on the weekend and do the math.

  5. We don’t have anything against him Windsor fan. We really want him to success. A successful Ellis helps our team! I, personally, think he just needs a little seasoning at this level whereas a lot of people who don’t watch the Admirals and AHL hockey in general seem to think he should already be in the NHL. Anyone that is a fan of hockey knows a lot more goes into a successful hockey player than statistics.

  6. Definitely NOT saying he belongs in Nashville right now, but the guy’s not doing that bad if a job. The negativity in this blog is pretty terrible though, considering he has only been here a few months. Obviously I have not seen a live game this year but it’s one thing to judge the player by watching, but focusing on all the negatives helps no one. Ellis HAS proven that he can play at this level and can only play himself into the NHL.

  7. Sometimes we do focus on the negative-I’ll give you that. I like Ellis a lot and think he’s a very talented player. Happy he’s an Admiral for sure.

  8. I never said anything about goals/assists either (but for the record, yeah, I expected more). My main gripe was pulling him off the power play. I’m sick of watching the team trying to set something set up then watch the puck slowly trickle past him and across the blue line…. Frustrating and it seems to happen to him…constantly. And honestly, from what we’ve seen from him so far, I’d rather see Valentine suiting up and having Ellis being the odd man out, not much of a problem anymore with Blum back to the NHL though.

    He was scoring a PPG and smashing records before he came here. I think we, as Admirals fans, can be disappointed that he hasn’t yet lived up to expectations.

  9. Windsor: It is a 6.5 hour drive to Milwaukee (600 km). Come see a game or two for yourself!

    Ellis has speed. He has more moves than Blum showed in Milwaukee. I have seen him play 7 games in person so far. He needs to add weight and maybe some strength. He is getting bounced around in the AHL by the other teams, like a boy playing with men. He needs to stay in Milwaukee for the rest of this season. No way is he ready for the Preds or the NHL. He is an average AHL D-man at the moment. That is not bad for a rookie, but Ellis can’t hold the zone and it is killing the power play. I hope to see much improvement between now and the end of the season.

    I want to see Valentine playing and Engren playing consistantly. Blake should be happy that he can’t be sent down to Cincinnati. He was that bad. Maybe it was playing with new line mates.

    Peoria’s goalies are weak. Bishop is big and slow. Get him moving, hit the corners and he is toast!

  10. Windsor fan and all Ellis fans:

    First, thanks for reading, and thanks for following your guy. At that level and at this level, it’s great to see people have love for their favorite players even after they’ve moved on to bigger and better things.

    What I try to do here is be objective. And I can see how sometimes that may come across as overly negative….(although, you should see some of the other blogs and discussion boards for teams in the league…we’re pretty tame in comparison). But I’m not interested in sugarcoating anything. And if Ryan Ellis has a tendency to get knocked off the puck at the offensive blue line, it’s worth noting. If he’s not winning battles in the defensive corners at this level, it’s worth noting. This isn’t some 6th round pick….this is arguably THE BEST prospect in the system according to some. And when he doesn’t play like the best defenseman on the team, it’s worth talking about.

    The points are great…but but there’s a ways to go before he rounds out his game.

    You’ll never hear any of us say that he’s not immensely talented. The talent is obviously there. But he’s not a superstar here like he was there. Not yet at least.

    Come to Milwaukee for a weekend. There are lots of weekends when there are two home games,and then a third game in the region. I think you’ll see a lot of the things we’re talking about. It’s not because we don’t like him, but because that’s just the way we’re seeing his game right now.

    Thanks again for reading.

  11. Yeah, what Ryan said… I have a tendency to be over-sarcastic at times, and that probably paints me as trying to be a jerk to those who don’t know me, or understand my tone…I’m really not, but hey I could understand if that’s what ya thought…. But basically what Ryan said, I agree…

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