Barons Return the Favor 3-2 as Milwaukee Splits in OKC

As a writer always looking for symbols during a long American Hockey League season, Saturday night’s 3-2 loss provided plenty. (Video highlights here courtesy of the Edmonton Oilers website)

The game played out much like the entire season to date for Milwaukee. The first period played out like the first third of the Admirals 2011-2012 campaign, with Milwaukee taking a 1-0 lead after a solid effort. Admirals defenseman Victor Bartley buried a power play marker at 9:56 after a perfect setup from forwards Chris Mueller and Kyle Wilson, who picked up assists.

The second period matched the middle stretch of the season for Milwaukee, with one Admirals goal countered with three unanswered by Oklahoma City. Jani Lajunen picked up his third of the season at 9:14 of the middle frame, but Barons defenseman Bryan Rodney (acquired last week via trade), Philippe Cornet and Teemu Hartikainen all countered for the hosts. In the period Oklahoma City peppered Milwaukee goaltender Atte Engren with 17 shots, which led to the three Barons tallies. Rodney’s goal was a point blast through a screen, Cornet’s a top-shelf snipe on a breakaway, while Hartikainen took advantage of a defensive zone break down by the Admirals.

If the season symbolism follows the third period, Milwaukee will miss the playoffs. The Admirals lacked desperation trying to comeback,  getting out shot 12-8, leaving the score at 3-2 in favor of the Barons. For the second straight night a team blew a 2-0 lead in the game.

Engren finished with 34 saves in an impressive effort for Milwaukee. It was a quiet night for Oklahoma City goaltender David LeNeveu, who stopped 22 of 24 shots.

Two of the Barons goals came on the power play, both after delay of game penalties for Milwaukee (including one by Engren). The Admirals took five penalties compared to Oklahoma City’s one, and four of the five Milwaukee minors were avoidable–not a good sign for a team with penalty kill that continues to struggle (Maybe Hal Gill can suit up a game or two for the Admirals).

The loss keeps Milwaukee in 10th place, holding a record of 26-22-2-1 for 55 points. Eighth place San Antonio holds a 27-22-2-1 record for 57 points with one more game played.

So Roundtable . . . Considering the effort from Engren, and a 2-0 lead, was Saturday night a missed opportunity for Milwaukee? Do you feel better about the Admirals’ future after a split at Oklahoma City, or does the second period let down tonight sour the mood? If you were coach Herbers, how do you handle the starts in goal going forward?

5 thoughts on “Barons Return the Favor 3-2 as Milwaukee Splits in OKC”

  1. Total missed opportunity and it sours my mood at least. If this team can’t put together 60 minutes of intensity after a solid win against the best the night before, I don’t see playoffs in our future.

  2. When isn’t it a missed opportunity? The Ads have ground to gain so every night is an opportunity for the next month.

    I didn’t expect them to take both, so I’m pleased with the split.

    I think there was some fear we’d drop both games – so as far as I’m concerned, the split is good news,

    As far as in goal, go with the hot hand.

    Get the defense on some extra practice duty or take a step to rattle their cage.

  3. Coach Herbers is not the answer. There will be Former NHL coaches looking at Milwaukee as a stepping stone job. Smith should start this year and engren next season. Engren is a low price goalie and smith is a free agent after this or next season. Keep Lindback in Nashville , way too shaky. I see smith backing up Rinne and Lindback in the KHL. Many Finn and swede goalies have been in and will continue in the KHL .

  4. If the Preds were going to let Anders go, they would have done so this past summer and kept Dex, who is better than both Smith and Engren. But they let him go. Lindback is also better than both Smith and Engren. Smith will eventually leave. Chet is a nonstarter. Let’s hope there are options that materialize in the coming years. AHL goaltending is going to be shaky here for a while, barring a FA signing.

  5. Does anyone feel that this fridays game is going to be a disaster? The stars are aligned for it to be: 1) big crowd/concert night, typically we play awful in front on large crowds. 2) the team is coming off a loss and won’t have played since saturday long layoffs don’t tend ever help this team. 3) we are playing a team that we don’t see often which actually might be kinda good considering the admirals struggles within the division this year. For the admirals every game every night is going to be the biggest and most important game of the year for them if they are trying to reach the playoffs. One final thought, what is nashvilles ultimate plans for one chet pickard, trade? Release? Suck it up and hope for the best? I mean the guys not even cicnys starter anymore, perhaps nashville shoulda included him in the geoffrion deal instead of slaney!

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