The Admirals are going to sleep tonight in the 5th spot in the conference standings.
Seems pretty improbable, doesn’t it?
The Admirals remained perfect on their road trip by winning their fourth straight, this time a 2-1 shootout win over the Houston Aeros.
While it’s nice to sit INSIDE the top 8 for the first time in a long time, it should be noted that 5th place through 8th place all sit with 82 points. And then 9th and 10th are just a point behind that. But the Admirals have done it in less games and have a better winning percentage, so they jump to the top.
After a scoreless first period and a mostly scoreless second period, Chris Mueller knocked Aero defenseman Kris Fredheim off the puck while killing a penalty, and Mueller went in on Matt Hackett for a shorthanded breakaway chance. He scored his 30th goal of the season — the first Admiral to reach that milestone since Rich Peverley.
The Aeros tied it up at 7:14 of the third period, after a Jon Blum clear went off a skate, and a shot from Brett Bulmer went off the post and in.
The posts…..The Admirals hit metal three times over regulation and overtime. But the posts, not wanting to be partial, returned the favor in the shootout, as a pair of Aeros shots went “ping” and bounced out.
Jeff Taffe scored in the shootout for the Aeros. Jon Blum and Ryan Thang scored for the Admirals and this was Atte Engren’s first shootout win of the year.
Engren, again, was solid in net despite a lack of offense in front of him, and he picked up his second straight win. He stopped 22 of 23 shots.
– While Jeremy Smith got the call-up before the game, the Aeros got some reinforcements as the Minnesota Wild season ended yesterday. Three out of those four defensemen suited up tonight.
– The Admirals end the season series with a perfect 4-0 record against Houston. Which is nice, but it doesn’t take the sting out of Game 7 last May.
– Michael Latta’s suspension is over, but he didn’t dress. (Insert joke about how he was jersey-less during “Flick-gate” last week…)
– Off-day tomorrow for the Admirals (for the entire league, actually) and then a rematch against the Rampage on Tuesday to either create some separation or muddy the playoff picture even more.