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?