The point the Admirals got for making it to overtime is probably more than they deserved tonight.
The Admirals finished the game 0-for-8 on the power play, and sloppy play in the defensive zone spoiled a nice effort from Magnus Hellberg, who was seeing ice time for the first time since December 29th.
In the end, Brandon Saad won a couple of 1-on-1 battles against Victor Bartley while the teams were playing 3-on-3 in the first minute of overtime, and his shot from right in front of the crease gave the IceHogs a 2-1 victory. (This clip should have been cued up a few seconds earlier….but this was the game winner.)
Bartley has been great this season. But I think it’s safe to say that this was his worst of the season.
Not much of interest happened in the first period.
Brandon Pirri was awarded a penalty shot after a Bartley hook in the second period. Usually we see those called on breakaways, but there were lots of people in the zone. Not sure why it was a penalty shot. Probably should have just been a two minute minor. Regardless, Pirri tried to go backhand, but ran out of room and did not score on his attempt.
As the period was winding down, Bartley caught Jimmy Hayes with a high stick in the Ads defensive zone, and while the Admirals were on a power play of their own. One of the referees (Tim Mayer or Shaun Davis…didn’t catch which one it was) was right there, and did not call a penalty.
Play continued. The Admirals went for a rush back into the offensive zone, and we got a whistle. And Bartley was then presented with a four minute high sticking penalty. One of the linesman may have piped up.
Weird sequence of events. But no harm, as the Admirals were able to kill it off.
But what if the Admirals had scored on that offensive rush before the whistle? Then what?
Fast forward to the 14:12 mark of the 3rd period, where Joonas Jarvinen was Joony-on-the-spot after a Ben Ryan shot was blocked. The puck went to right to Jarvinen, and his backhand shot trickled past IceHogs goaltender Carter Hutton.
The IceHogs got it back 2:20 later, as Jeremy Morin cashed in after a cross-ice pass from Adam Clendening. There were a couple of failed clearing attempts on that shift, and Morin was all alone with a wide open net. Hellberg wasn’t anywhere close to getting around to that side.
Jarvinen and Kyle Beach were served with coincidental roughing minors at 19:57 of the third, leading to the 3-on-3 play in overtime.
Latta – Van Guilder – Beck
Henderson – Watson – Puustinen
Shalla – Ryan – Cehlin
MacLellan – Lajunen – Bouvet-Morrissette
Bartley – Moore
Valentine – Jarvinen
Bitetto – Roussel
So, the power play. Somewhat of an elephant in the room. 0/13 in the two games after ‘the exodus’. They were better about getting shots on net today, but didn’t it feel that the IceHogs had better chances on Milwaukee power plays than the Admirals did? Here are some thoughts from Coach Evason
Coach liked the effort he got from Hellberg.
It’s still an adjustment, playing without Mueller, Ellis and Blum. But Coach Evason gives a really good quote about how we’re not exactly unique in that situation, and how the team has to kind of find their identity a bit.
I thought Juuso Puustinen was great again tonight. He’s back at the point on the power play, perhaps for the first time since last season. Hope to see him start to get rewarded for the way he’s been playing.
Taylor Beck had almost a quarter of the Milwaukee shots on goal (7). But again, Admirals were outshot by their opponents… Shots against in the last 9 games: 34, 39, 31, 38, 32, 40, 30, 33, 34. That’s a lot of work for the goalies.
Not impressed with Roussel’s game tonight. Maybe we see Aronson tomorrow?
Peoria was in Grand Rapids tonight (they won 3-2 in overtime), so they’re travelling in advance of their third game in three days. So hope the Admirals can get on them early and then keep it simple the rest of the way.
– Thoughts on the officiating tonight? Both Coach Evason and Bartley essentially declined comment. I try to decline comment usually too as a guideline….or rather, I try to not blame losses on the refs. I don’t think they can be blamed at all for this one. But there were some interesting calls, for sure.
– Open to suggestions on the power play. The IceHogs did their homework, and the Bartley-on-the-back-door play wasn’t working tonight. What’s plan B?
– Thoughts on Bouvet-Morrissette? Victim of a short bench late in the game….but otherwise, how did he look?
– Did they deserve the point they got in the standings tonight?