The Admirals did a lot of good things on Sunday evening. But a few poor decisions ended up leading to Peoria goals, as the Rivermen handed the Admirals their 11th straight divisional loss. 4-2 was the final.
Atte Engren made his fourth start in the last five games, and made some big saves over the course of the game. Coach Herbers doesn’t really fault him for the three that went in.
Chris Mueller opened the scoring in the final minute of the first period on a play that 50% of the time might have been flagged as an offsides play. Blake Geoffrion had a long pass up the left wing boards to find Taylor Beck, who was ruled on-side. From the far corner, Beck fed Mueller, who was crashing the net, and that 14th shot of the first period finally beat Rivermen goalie Ben Bishop.
The Rivermen answered back in the opening minute of the second period, with an Adam Cracknell shot that went off the pipe and in. A snipe, we’ll call it. Some great passing on that play too.
Zack Stortini answered back at the 10:37 mark, but it was Brodie Dupont and Chris Mueller that did the dirty work on the play. After a great forecheck that kept the puck in the offensive zone, Dupont found Mueller in the far circle. Mueller was being worked over by Cheechoo, but was able to send a no-look pass to Stortini all alone in front of Bishop.
Brett Sterling tied it up a little less than three minutes later on a goal that his back-side deflected.
Sterling had a second goal while Jon Blum was serving a holding penalty. Two Admirals were caught up ice on a short-handed chance, which led to a 4-on-2 rush the other way. The Rivermen are skilled enough to usually make you pay in those situations.
Stortini received five for boarding in a game misconduct on a play against Cheechoo with less than a minute remaining in the game. I didn’t get a good look at how nasty the hit was from my vantage point….I just saw the train coming. Tough to say if he’s likely to be unavailable Tuesday or not. I expected to see the Rivermen send the big guns out on their power play and get some payback, but they didn’t.
But it all comes back to mistakes. Here’s the Coach on all three Rivermen goals….although not in order….
Don’t usually hear Coach’s say that forwards were outworked by the other goaltender when battling for the puck.
And that’s how it’s kind of going for the Admirals these days. That, and how difficult it’s been for them to score.
I won’t bother with the lines, because they were jumbled late in the first period, after Mark Van Guilder left with an upper body injury.
Jeff Foss played again tonight in lieu of Scott Valentine. No injury — he’s a healthy scratch.
– Jon Blum — defensively a -11 in 21 games for Milwaukee now. No goals since his second game. Ford is +11, Sloan is + 9, Bartley is +5, Laakso is a -6.
– Three straight games the Admirals have not scored in the third period.
– After this weekend’s action, the Admirals sit in 11th place in the conference with 51 points. Four points behind Abbotsford and Peorio, who sit in 7th and 8th place with 55 points.
– In case you didn’t see it on twitter….Chris Cahill quit. Don’t know the story, but it may be one of those cases where the guy was frustrated that other players were being signed to PTO’s instead of him getting called up from Cincy. Don’t know if he has plans for Europe a la Jamie Lundmark, or if he’s leaving hockey altogether….but he’s done with this organization, apparently.
Also — responding to a comment in last game’s thread….the Ads/Preds certainly have the power to send Blum to the ECHL. Chet Pickard is there. Blum can go too. Now, there’s absolutely no chance that he WILL actually get sent down, but I wanted to clarify that unless there is something exotic about his contract that most other players don’t have….he can be sent to the E.
– Are you impressed with the play of Atte Engren of late? Do you expect to see him again on Tuesday? And how badly will you miss Ben Bishop when he finally gets his chance in the NHL?
– Do you think Stortini will be suspended for more than a game?
– How badly do you miss Michael Latta right about now?
– Anything else strike you about this game?