Fantastic finish sends Ads to third straight win

Up until the last 90 seconds, the Admirals had a frustrating Friday night against their Amtrak Rivalry foes.

Then in the words of Ron Burgundy things really escalated quickly.

The two teams came in with nearly identical records, Milwaukee at 8-8-1-1 and Chicago at 8-7-2-1.

With Eddie Lack on the bench, Matt Climie played most of the game better than his .896 save percentage suggested stopping 30 of Milwaukee’s 31 shots up to the last two minutes.

Chicago struck 2:21 into the game when Jordan Schroeder led Bill Sweatt on a 2-on-1 and Sweatt to beat Jeremy Smith.

The Ads tied it up when Jani Lajunen took the puck on a 3-on-2 and hit Victor Bartley who put it between Climie’s stick and right pad with a scorching slapper at 15:17 of the period.

After a scoreless second, both teams whiffed on early opportunities to go up in the third.

Ben Ryan had an open net on a wraparound but the puck got stuck in the netting right behind the right post and a sprawling Climie was able to grab and freeze it at 17:24.

With about 7 minutes left, Zack Kassian pulled off a slick move that got Smitty down on his pads, but he whiffed his shot over the goalie’s head and off the crossbar.

With 5:30 left in the game, it seemed like the Wolves had locked up the tightly contested battle.

Joonas Jarvinen committed his second penalty of the night (and just the second penalty for the Admirals as a team) giving the Wolves a power play on a roughing call.

Kevin Connauton took a slapper from just south of the blue line, Smitty gave up a fat rebound and Darren Archibald put it right past him.

Chris Mueller almost hit Patrick Cehlin from behind the net with 1:44 left, but Climie gloved it against the ice to cut off the pass and froze it. The Ads went on the aggressive when Coach Dean Evason then called a time out pulled Smith for the extra attacker.

It paid off with 1:25 left to go when Austin Watson worked the puck free from a mad scramble to Climie’s left, Gabriel Bourque scooped it up and fired it through the confusion to beat the Wolves goalie, knotting the score at two goals a piece.

Riding high on adrenaline and momentum in the final seconds, Mueller won a faceoff cleanly, skated to his left and tipped home a shot from Jonathon Blum to give Milwaukee a 3-2 advantage with just 19.1 remaining.

Evason was thrilled with the finish after feeling his team had played well enough to at least reach the extra period.

The win keeps the Admirals hot in division play after they ended Grand Rapid’s eight-game winning streak last Sunday.

Despite playing disciplined hockey yet again, the Admirals finished 0-for-4 with the man advantage and have had their struggles on the power play which Evason puts mostly on the absence of one key offensive piece.

More Notes:

The scratch of Jack MacLellan tonight was a healthy one.

Evason also cleared up the goalie swap with Cincinatti, easing those concerned with Magnus Hellberg’s future.


How does it feel to go up 3-1 early in the Amtrak Rivalry? Do you think the Admirals might have Chicago’s number this season, or are we in for a back-and-forth fight?

Who stuck out as an unsung hero tonight? Plenty of candidates. Blum seemed to get the puck a lot and handled it well. Watson continued to create offense. Latta was pretty active around the net and had a nice hit with Jarvinen.

What do you think of coach giving Hellberg the chance to start in some back-to-back action? Should it be read into perhaps?

6 thoughts on “Fantastic finish sends Ads to third straight win”

  1. Just to clarify, Lack wasn’t even on the bench yesterday. He is injured and Joe Cannata from Kalamazoo was called up and backing up Clime.

    Exciting finish to a great game! I’m really liking Jon Blum’s game this year. I was pretty vocal about him last year and it’s nice to see him basically do a 180 from where he was last year. Hope he keeps it up!

  2. I think the Amtrak Rivalry will be back and forth. On the other hand, several STH for the Wolves want to give up their seats according to Wolfkeeper’s website. Maybe the Wolves aren’t so good this season. Haydar needs a walker and Sterling needs a punch in the face. The Over The Hill Gang rides again!

  3. Doesn’t look like Sterling played. He was the recipient of the Andrew Shaw board that led to a 1-game suspension for Shaw. He finished that game, but may have been a bit sore the next day. And Creedfeed was chatting it up on the wolfkeeper board, and it sounds like they have so many veterans on that team, he may have just been the one they scratched last night. Fine with me.

    On the PP goal, I don’t think the shot ever got through to Smitty, so I don’t think we can call it a fat rebound.

    Hellberg won 6-1 last night for Cincy. The guy gets offensive support! Call it an “intangible” that he brings to the game. 95 penalty minutes in that game too…

    Great quote from the coach regarding special teams. I think “stale” is the perfect word for the power play. Aaron was telling me that they didn’t get a single shot on net through all four power plays. Unacceptable. Yeah, they miss Beck….but the first unit on one of the power plays featured Cam Reid and Ben Ryan. Granted, they were a good energy line most of the night, and maybe Coach was trying to shake things up….but it sure surprised me to see them out there for the first shift.

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