IceHogs Continue Dominance Over Admirals

(Photo Credit:  Jeff Hanisch)

Let me be clear:  I’m not sour on the season.  You shouldn’t be either.  There’s lots of hockey still left.  And this team is able to play well.  We’ve seen it.  Resist the temptation to throw in whatever towel you have.  Five points out of the playoffs, with games in hand.

I am very sour about this game though.  The IceHogs continue to own the Admirals, and they took this one 4-1 in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 15,888 at the Bradley Center.

I’m tired of tipping my cap to IceHogs goaltender Carter Hutton.  This is the fifth straight game that the Admirals have scored just one goal against the IceHogs.  Some of that is Hutton.  Some is his defense.  Some of that is the Admirals have not been able to adjust.

In the season series so far, the Admirals have 5 of a possible 16 points so far.

Here’s coach Herbers with the High Level Overview, presented by Google Maps.

The IceHogs scored the only goal of the first period, seconds after Juuso Puustinen went down along the nearside boards near the top of the circle after blocking a shot.  The referee let play continue and was even talking to Juuso as the play was progressing.  Shifting into a power play mode, Brandon Svendsen had the puck at the goal line on the far side, and his pass to the slot went off of Kevin Henderson’s skate, and right to Chris DiDomenico right in front of Jeremy Smith.  DiDomenico’s stuff beat Smitty’s poke-check.

After a scoreless second period, the IceHogs doubled their lead courtesy of Svendsen.  Scott Valentine was caught snoozing, and Svendsen sped past him along the right wing, and he rifled a shot that beat Smitty up high.

Shortly after that goal, Wade Brookbank was called for interference (Ryan Thang did push him into Smith, but Brookbank took advantage of that real estate to go high up on Smith).  And seven seconds into that power play, a Jon Blum shot from the far point had eyes and made it past Hutton to make it a one-goal game.  Mueller won the face-off back to Victor Bartley, who had a nice hold-in at the point.  He fed Blum on the other side and his wrister was good.

But about three minutes later, Philippe Paradis put the IceHogs back up by two with a shot from the top of the near circle that made its way through a DiDomenico screen, and it looked as if it went off of Smith’s stick and up and in.

Here’s coach on the deflating goal.

Peter LeBlanc had an empty netter, although there are some whispers that we’ve heard that say that it may be changed to DiDomenico for his second of the night, and third of the year.  Linesman Roger Behling with the assist, as he got in the way of Jon Blum’s clear, and the puck went straight to LeBlanc/DiDomenico/whoever.

Rematch tomorrow in the land of Beef-A-Roo.  Here’s Coach on what’ll need to be different.


– Michael Latta is back! Could do without the penalties though…

– Man, what a loss Puustinen is.  It always seems to be early in the game that the Ads lose a guy, and then have to shuffle the rest of the night. We didn’t expect specifics from Coach when we asked him afterwards, and from this soundbyte, it sounds like he knew it was coming.  Next question please.

Scott Ford missed some time in the second period after getting his lip cut.

– The Ads had a 5-on-3 in the second period cut short with a Zack Stortini penalty in the offensive zone.

– The officiating was awful.  Worst of the year in my opinion, at least from the home games I’ve seen.  Marcus Vinnerborg was the man in the stripes tonight, and he was Jeff Smith in the first period, Shaun Davis in the second period, and then Ian Croft in the third.  It’s not a reason for the loss, and he was pretty awful for both teams, but it’s still frustrating to watch.

– Scoring by committee?  The players who scored for the IceHogs tonight….DiDomenico had his 2nd or 3rd goal of the season.  Paradis had his 3rd.  Svendsen had his 2nd.  It wasn’t their offensive stars that beat the Admirals tonight.

And then on the other side….Chris Mueller won the face-off that led to Blum’s goal, and doubled his scoring output in the season series to two points, with a -7 defensive rating. Victor Bartley also had an assist, and leads the team with six points against the IceHogs.  Kyle Wilson still only has one assist, and is -5 defensively.  Thang has a goal and an assist.  Brandon Pirri, who didn’t play tonight, has 11 points in the series….which is more than Mueller, Wilson, Puustinen, and Beck combined in the series.


– When will stick-tossing become an Olympics event, and who has the early edge, Mueller or Hutton?

– Give me some numbers….  The success of the IceHogs against the Admirals….what percentage do you think we should attribute to Hutton, the D, and the lack of offense for the Admirals?  Here is Sutty’s breakdown as an example:

Hutton:  40%
Rockford D: 20%
MKE lack of O: 40%

– You have to think we’ll see Hutton again tomorrow?  Who do you throw in there for the Admirals?

– Will the return of Latta be enough to offset the loss of Puustinen?

– Would you rather see Jeff Foss or Tyler Sloan on the blue line?

– Think the Boy Scouts are going to come back next year and sell 9,000 tickets for a game?

10 thoughts on “IceHogs Continue Dominance Over Admirals”

  1. Throw someone in front of Hutton. Have them camp out and blind him. Get on his nerves. Shots directly to him didn’t work tonight, they didn’t work last time either. He needs to be drawn off side.

    A very frustrating loss tonight. It’s hard to believe that we can’t beat the basement dwellers.

  2. Yeah, what Ouch! said… The guy is good, no doubt, but gives up a ton of rebounds that could be converted…if we had anybody near the crease… Seems like more times than not we have 4 guys cluster-“expletive-ing) around the blue line while one guy is chasing it around behind the net… Doesn’t sound like an efficient way to run an offense to me…but I’ve only been a fan of the sport for a little over 3 or so years, I still have some learning to do! I’d like to see somebody with some size, or at least balls… Stortini is the only one ever screening the goal, pick up a Dave Scatchard-like player that’s not afraid to score some garbage once in a while!

  3. Also…not sure of the injury yet, but Puustinen has put on Twitter that he’s out for the year… The good news is, I can start paying off my season tickets for next year since I won’t have to put any $$$ towards a playoff package this season! Always a silver lining!

  4. Pathetic, we’ll leave it at that

    I don’t know if this is an unwritten rule or not that a referee won’t blow a whistle for an injury until that team has possession. If it is then it seems like every zebra has a different interpretation. If a guy is down and out and obviously can’t get up under his own power the whistle should be blown IMO.

  5. The one thing that’s glaring to me was it looked like we played the exact same game we played against Rockford the previous meeting. For the most part, they kept us out of the neutral zone, they forced the puck outside and along the boards, and we did not adjust. They have played this type of game against us the whole year and we didn’t seem to make any adjustments…

    It also didn’t seem like we started playing with any urgency until 4 or 5 minutes to go. With the way we are in the standings, we need to play a full 60 minutes with urgency, especially against a team that has held us to 4 goals combined in the previous 4 meetings.

    I’m now starting to look forward to these junior and college players who should be joining us soon. Perhaps they’ll play with a bit more urgency?!?

  6. Rather lackluster effort…. All the talk about getting traffic in front of their goalie is what I was thinking all game! We need a guy (ryan jones comes to mind) who doesn’t mind getting the dirty goals getting abused in front of the crease and causing problems for goalies. We don’t have that guy on this roster. Also i felt the team was playing better in the third up to and just before giving up the 3rd goal of the night. After that goal the team in my opinion just said eh whatevs and packed it in! The forechecking went away, the livelyness was gone and they were only down by 2 which until the blum goal was how many they were already down by! They had almost 9min in that game to muster up 2 goals but they gave up…. Absolutely annoying game. And the thing that got me more pissed was some jack-wagon yelling “way to go smith you suck get a different job” after the empty net goal! I wanted to kick him in the teeth what was he supposed to do go shaun marcum and throw his glove at the puck as it trickled into the yawning net? And he was mke fan cause his group had ads gear on. Well I guess cross fingers and toes we can steal todays game…….

  7. Now let me be clear. I am sour on the season. And you should be, too. This team is immature in how they conduct themselves on and off the ice. The coaching has been weak. The play has been supremely disappointing. Even the goaltending – reliable for years – has had flashes of brilliance and streaks of crud. This team is a mess and does not deserve to be embarrassed in the playoffs. I wish the end of our record run of success could be met with high draft picks or other rewards for the bad, but alas, that will not happen.

  8. I agree with Smith and as I said sometime awhile ago, I think it all comes back to the coaching. In the past couple of years we’ve seen teams decimated by injuries and callups and filled with ECHL guys play better than the guys on this year’s team. And it’s not for a lack of talent. This team is very talented. Something is lacking in keeping the focused and prepared for games and I think you have to take a closer look at the coaching staff.

  9. Laura, it’s hardly an unwritten rule. Section 2 of the AHL rule book states:

    When a player is injured so that he cannot continue play or go to
    his bench, the play shall not be stopped until the injured player’s team
    has secured possession of the puck. If the player’s team is in
    possession of the puck at the time of injury, play shall be stopped
    immediately unless his team is in a scoring position.

    In the case where it is obvious that a player has sustained a
    serious injury, the Referee and/or Linesman MAY stop the play
    (My emphasis on may)

  10. So the problem is that it IS a judgement call for the officials. The number of people who will stay down on the ice watching to see if the orange stripe goes up in the air and then become magically healed makes it difficult to make that call on a consistent basis.

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