Admirals Complete Comeback Against Wolves

(Editors note:  With Trey back in Tampa during the Marquette break, and Ryan doing whatever it is he does on the microphone, we are proud to welcome back the man, the myth, the legend, the FURY….making his first cameo of the season, it’s SUTTY!)

After constantly being reminded by Ryan that he has “several” lawyers on retainer that would “sue my pants off” for a contract violation, I have decided to dust off my media credential and report on the first game of 2013.

I am also contractually obligated to remind you that Sutty’s opening rant was brought to you by Mountain Fury.(R)

So there was a hockey game tonight.  After trailing by a goal heading into the third period, the Admirals scored the equalizer about five minutes in, and then the game winner with a buck-thirty-three left in the game.  Call it a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Wolves.

Coach Evason appreciates the resilience…but also recognizes that they shouldn’t have had to be resilient tonight.

The Chicago Wolves were the first to light the lame mid way through the first period. Jeremy Smith gloved a shot from mid-ice and had some indecision on whether he should play it or not. He chose to drop the puck and try to play it but got caught up on the near side of the net. Brett Sterling (insert groan here) took the puck and sent it to the top of the slot where Andrew Gordon was waiting to fire a shot that beat Smitty far side. Just one of those plays where Smitty should hang on to it when he is unsure. Easy for me to say though.

The Admirals answered back just under two minutes later off a Houdini style redirect by Victor Bartley. Taylor Beck fired a shot towards the net from the right wing.  Bartley, while crashing towards the net, got his stick up and redirected the puck out of the air past Matt Climie. It never ceases to amaze me how players are so accurate with a puck out of the air, and this was no exception.  Good marks for V-Bart, and good marks for Beck just putting the puck on net.  Good things happen.

The Admirals were able to pick up right where they left off in the second period on a Kevin Henderson seeing-eye goal. At 3:54 into the stanza, the Wolves were attacking the Admirals net. The puck came loose on the near side where Smith looked out of place. Andrew Ebbett put a shot on the empty net but Brett Sterling (insert boo here) had his stick in the way. The Admirals’ Mark Van Guilder corralled the loose puck and dished it two feet to Kevin Henderson who started up the boards. Henderson kept the puck away on the from the lone defender and pushed past him to send a soft shot thought the five hole of Climie from about three feet out. This is one that will probably haunt Climie’s dreams.

The Wolves were able to answer right back just as the Ads did in the first period…only difference was that the Wolves had the man advantage. With Jack MacLellan serving a too-much-man penalty, Chris Tanev sent the puck to Jordan Schroeder who was at the top of the far circle. He dribbled it a bit and loosed a wrister that beat Smitty top glove side. From my angle and on the replays this looked like a clear shot from the point, there wasn’t much traffic in front.  I am sure Smitty would have loved to have been able to hit the reset button on this shot and goal.

Allow me to preface this next part by telling you that I am really trying hard not to say “you had to see it”, so i will try to explain what happened as best as I can.

With :08 left in the second period the Wolves were able to take the lead on a Darren Haydar goal. Andrew Ebbett had the puck in the far circle and drew the attention of several Ads players. Before the Ads could close on Ebbett he sent a puck acorss ice to Haydar who was waiting all alone in the near circle. The pass from Ebbett forced Haydar to reach for the puck causing him spin in place. Once he came back around to face the net, he fired the puck  hitting  a diving Admirals’ Scott Valentine in the arm causing the puck to flutter into the net over a sprawled out Smith for the goal. While Haydar had the wide open shot it took him a little bit to fire it on net. It looked like the delay in the shot caught Smith guessing and diving forward for a non existent save. Valentine got an arm on it but it wasn’t enough to keep it from the back of the net where an upright Smith would have easily blocked it. In fairness, this one is not Smitty’s fault, there is no reason Haydar should be that open on the backside.

Oh?  We’ve got the video?  So I didn’t need to spend 100 words describing it?  Oh, I see how it is.

At 4:56 into the 3rd period Mark Van Guilder netted tying goal for the Ads after a great individual play by Henderson.  Henderson drove the net from the nearside boards. He overpowered the Wolves defenders and got a shot on net from very close. The puck trickled away from Climie right to the stick of MVG who put it past the recovering goaltender. Henderson is playing like a manimal.  The end!

With 1:33 left in the third the Ads seal the deal on an Austin Watson goal. Milwaukee had the Wolves reeling in their own zone. Taylor Beck fired a shot on net from the near side circle that hit Climie in the chest. As the goaltender was trying to catch the puck off of his own chest, Patrick Cehlin batted the puck away from him. The loose puck caromed to a crashing Watson who backhanded the loose puck past Climie for the game winner.


That Henderson-MVG-Latta line was pretty great tonight, wasn’t it?  Coach thinks so too.

They ended up giving Bartley an assist on Henderson’s goal…so him, Henderson, and MVG all had a goal and an assist.  Patrick Cehlin had a pair of helpers, doubling his point output from the last 16 games.  Taylor Beck had a pair of helpers to continue his strong play.

Smith was good when he needed to be, especially in the third period.  The goals he gave up weren’t great, but he was a shutdown goalie in the third.  And that was huge.


– I don’t know…it’s been awhile since I’ve done this.  Just overall thoughts on the game?  Are you surprised that Kevin Henderson was the best player on the ice for both teams tonight?

– What do you think is going to be the difference between announced attendance on Saturday and ACTUAL attendance on Saturday?

12 thoughts on “Admirals Complete Comeback Against Wolves”

  1. I’m surprised the Ads won. They seemed to keep trying to do a drop pass when they entered the zone way too often.

    Has Valentine thrown a hipcheck this year? It seemed like last year he had 1 a game but hasn’t done it this year. Tge Ads are going to need that and more physical play Saturday against OK.

    Also, (on a more offtopic note) did anyone else notice during the first TV timeout the interaction between the ref (Jean Hilbert) and the road penalty box? The ref was insistent on using the tv timeout towel to wipe his helmet. I found it amusing.

  2. Disclaimer: I’m not a hockey coach or expert, just a fan…

    The drop pass thing I’m assuming was their game plan coming in. Chicago was aggressive at their blue line so if our forward would come in the zone and drop pass to another teammate while continuing on to crash the net, it forced Chicago to drop back their defenders, leaving more room to handle the puck, and to get those “garbage” style clean up goals, which we did a couple of times. I thought it worked fairly well in the grand scheme of things.

    The one thing lacking was physical play. Not sure why we didn’t play more physical. I would think against Chicago’s skilled forwards, a more physical game would have been given us an advantage.

  3. Creed: People are afraid to touch Haydar. You get a penalty or he starts slashing people left and right. Latta did try to nail Connauton near the end of the game. Old Kevin had given Latta an elbow to the face. You would think one of the two refs might have seen that, but all 4 guys missed calls. The only reason the Wolves were called for too many men on the ice was Blum’s frantic waving. Then the idiot linesmen counted. I saw 7 skaters, then two headed back for the bench to get to the correct number. This wasn’t the only time that Chicago did that. It was the only time called.

  4. The Henderson-MVG-Latta line was the only good one. Beck played horribly badly on the power play. He needs to be replaced. He is much better at even strength situations.

  5. Not sure I agree about Beck on the power play. The guy is leading the team in points, and has played 6 less games that most. Everyone tries to get too cute sometimes….but I certainly don’t think he needs to be replaced. But yes, the 15-29-17 line was outstanding. Hope they can keep it up this weekend.

  6. Ryan, I watched Beck on both power plays. He didn’t shoot the puck on goal, a sin in my book. A pass went through his legs and out of the zone. He passed the puck behind an Admiral on the half wall and it was sent out of the zone. The Admirals didn’t pass well in general during the game, but Beck was the worst on the PP. He played well at even strength. If I had more time, I would have mentioned it in the hallway. But I only had time to mention the chocolate chip cookies!

    Cehlin was also bad on the PP. He also needs to be replaced. Twelve percent PP is no good!

  7. This is good discussion…. What percentage would be acceptable for power play success? 12 isn’t great, but league median is just four points higher.

    Sure, Beck may have made a couple of bad plays on that PP. That’s not enough for me to give him the hook. If the shooting lane isn’t there, I imagine he’s coached to move the puck, get the defenders moving, and see if someone else gets a better look. Bad plays happen. But Beck and Cehlin have the 2nd and 3rd most shots on goal on the team. Would like to see some more points from Cehlin, but I definitely don’t feel that Beck is the problem. I’m happy to agree to disagree!

    It’d be great if the PP was better….but the W is more important to me.

  8. Why not put Watson on the power play? Cehlin has only has 2 goals in about his last 24 games. Terrible and no way he should be kept on the 1st line power play. Watson is tied for the team lead with 12 goals and hardly gets any power play time. How does a coach keep a guy who hasn’t scored in over 20 some games on the 1st line power play and keep off a guy who has been scoring a lot?

  9. A pro power play should be in the 15 to 20% range. The PK should be 80% or more. The two numbers should add up to 100 or more on a good team. If it is 90 or less, you have a big problem. You will get more Ws with better special team play. Tonight Milwaukee scored 1 PP goal, 1 shortie and gave up 2 PPGs to OKC; and lost!

    I would put Watson on the PP and find somebody else who can play it, like Henderson. Kevin is carrying the offense this week. Tonight Beck passed to the wrong team on the PP. He could have shot it or dumped it into the corner, both would have been better plays.

  10. Why wouldn’t you put Watson on the 1st line PP. Who else can play it? Hey I like Henderson but are you serious? He has had two or three good games out of like 30 so far. Watson has been one of the most consistent scorers on the team with less ice time than most of the other so called scorers and he is at or close to the same pace they are. I can only imagine what he would be able to do with regular 1-2 line playing time and consistent power play time.

  11. Why wouldn’t Watson go on the 1st line power play? He plays center….are you prepared to move Chris Mueller out of position or move him to the 2nd unit to make that happen? May be easy for us to suggest, but from a player management standpoint, I’m pretty sure it’s easier said than done.

  12. Ryan I wasn’t suggesting that. Watson can play any forward position and has done it through his career. Put him on the 1st line power play on the wing..

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