The Admirals could have clinched tonight with a win over the Wolves, coupled with a Charlotte or Houston loss in their games.
Charlotte and Houston didn’t hold up their end of the donkey.
But the Admirals did. Jon Blum created a turnover and led a 2-on-0 rush in overtime that Chris Mueller finished, to propel the Admirals to a 2-1 win over the Wolves.
Blummer describes the goal — and deserves a ton of credit for making a really smart play.
He knew exactly what Haydar was going to do, and was able to capitalize.
Coach Herbers says that yeah, it was a huge game, but really, they’ll all been pretty huge for awhile now.
After a scoreless first period, Ryan Thang was credited with a goal at 15:27 of the second. I couldn’t tell if it was meant to be a shot or a pass towards the crease…but the puck was re-directed by Wolf defenseman Jordan Henry, and it went past Eddie Lack.
Anton Rodin tied it up with 6:33 left in the third period with a shot from just inside the far face-off circle that beat Smitty. He may have been screened a bit on that shot.
The Ads outshot the Wolves 2-0 in the OT period, with Blum and Mueller being the heroes. Blum actually figured in both Admiral goals, assisting on Thang’s tally, but wasn’t named one of the three stars. (1. Lack, 2. Rodin, 3. Smith).
Here’s how the lines started out…
Henderson – Van Guilder – Flynn
Dupont – Mueller – Beck
Thang – Wilson – Latta
Ryan – Lajunen – Stortini
In the second period, coach flip-flopped Ben Ryan and Taylor Beck. Here was the rationale behind the switch.
It seemed light a bit of a fire under Beck, as his play was noticeably better after the change. And Ryan more than held his own on the Mueller line too.
The Ads outshot the Wolves 14-5 in the second period, and really did seem to dominate much of the play, getting some extended time in the offensive zone.
The Wolves did decide to rest some of their regular players for tonight’s game. Some of them are a bit banged up, and why put them out there in a game that meant very little to the home team? Scratched were Nolan Baumgartner, Kevin Connauton, Andrew Gordon, Dustin Friesen, Mike Duco, Mark Mancari, Mark Matheson, Steve Reinprecht, Victor Oreskovich, and Matt Climie. So they were a bit short of their usual firepower.
Meanwhile in Rockford, the IceHogs decided to start Kent Simpson. Who? Exactly. Thanks guys. And the Charlotte Checkers were able to skate out of the land of Roo with a 4-3 shootout win.
The Houston Aeros put up a 4-spot in the first half of the 2nd period of their game against the San Antonio Rampage, and they kept their post-season hopes alive with a 5-3 victory.
So going into tomorrow, here’s how it looks…
5. Rochester 86 points
6. Milwaukee 85 points
7. San Antonio 85 points
8. Charlotte 85 points
9. Houston 84 points
Lake Erie and Peoria are mathematically eliminated.
Tomorrow it’ll be…..
Charlotte @ Milwaukee
Rochester @ Lake Erie
Texas @ Houston
Oklahoma City @ San Antonio
– We get a point, we clinch.
– If Houston loses, we clinch.
-If San Antonio loses in regulation, we clinch.
It’s nice being able to control your own destiny. Hope to see you at the Bradley Center tomorrow.