Grand Rapids got some early morning revenge on the Admirals Wednesday. The Griffins’ 4-2 victory kept the Ads from winning consecutive games, which Milwaukee has yet to do this season.
On the flip side, the Griffins got their third win in a row thanks to goalie Petr Mrazek’s solid debut in net.
The game was a lot closer than the score suggests as the shot battle was even at 26. Jeremy Smith got his third straight start and kept the Admirals within a goal or tied throughout the game, stopping 22 of 25 shots.
The Ads’ special teams units were as up-and-down as the momentum of the game, and it made the big difference.
Ryan Sheehan scored first for the Griffins on the third shorthanded goal Milwaukee has surrendered this season 13:54 into the first period.
Then a few minutes later the Admirals tied the game on a five-on-three power play when Jon Blum slapped one past Mrazek. Mattias Ekholm and Taylor Beck picked up the assists.
Francis Pare retook the lead for Grand Rapids 6:15 into the second period, and again the Admirals rallied with 7:22 left. Juuso Puustinen got his first goal of the season and Jack MacLellan and Austin Watson assisted.
Joakim Andersson gave Grand Rapids the lead for good 11:28 into the third on a power play, and the Griffins tacked on an empty-netter from Gustav Nyquist with 30 seconds left.
It was another tough day for the Admirals’ power play, as they only mustered one goal out of six opportunities. From the way things have gone for the unit this season, it almost seems like Milwaukee would prefer to skate five-on-five rathter than have the extra attacker.
The team’s discipline was low again, as they surrendered eight power play opportunities, and it was one of the later calls, Scott Valentine for roughing, that led to the game-winning goal.
It was a frustrating day for Milwaukee’s big forwards with Beck and Chris Mueller going 0-11 combined in shots. Michael Latta was a minus-three with zero shots coming off some good performances the last three games.
Inconsistency has been the theme for Milwaukee’s start, but hopefully that means it’ll be due for a home win over Chicago on Friday night.
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