The big goalie had a Hell of a night as the Admirals’ two-game losing skid snapped Sunday with a 1-0 win over Peoria.
In his first start since January 20, Magnus Hellberg broke a personal six-game losing streak and recorded his first professional shutout, stopping all 30 shots he faced.
Milwaukee’s offense didn’t leave Hellberg much room for error, but the team came out a lot stronger than it had in back-to-back 5-2 Friday losses.
Coach Dean Evason missed the game after having his appendix removed yesterday, and assistant coach Stan Drulia guided the team to the win.
The Ads got out to a fast start thanks to Cam Reid’s third point in as many games. Bartley fed the puck to Reid at center ice to set up a 2-on-2 break, and Reid’s pass to his right found a crashing Mark Van Guilder who deflected it in at the 4:17 mark.
MVG talked about the goal and the adjustment he had to make on a pass that could’ve been crisper.
That would be it as far as offense was concerned as Hellberg held the line the rest of the way.
While the Rivermen wouldn’t be considered by most to be an offensive juggernaut, Drulia felt Hellberg was challenged throughout the game.
As nice as it was to see the Ads finally pull one out, it would’ve been nicer to see them capitalize on some chances.
“0 for 4 on the power play” has become a phrase mentioned a bit too often this season, and Van Guilder offered his thoughts on the special teams struggles.
MVG also commented on the team’s overall offensive confidence.
Drulia said the better start to the game was a reflection of the team’s sense of desperation which has become a big focal point moving forward.
That urgency will be tested again Tuesday with Abbotsford coming to town. The Ads haven’t beaten the Heat since last February, going a collective 0-5 in regular season and postseason play.
If “two out of three” hockey is indeed going to be the standard, a win Tuesday would be greatly needed.
Van Guilder had a lot to say after the win, even offering his musings on Dean Evason’s absence.
Despite a season of competing against one another on the depth chart, Jeremy Smith posed a nice gesture to Hellberg, snatching up the game puck for the big goalie to keep as a souvenir of his big night.
So was this what the Ads needed to get something going? Who besides Hellberg impressed you tonight?
How much do you think Hellberg was challenged tonight? I thought his movement in net looked a bit crisper and he made some good stops on some 2-on-1s.
Do you think the “two-out-of-three hockey” concept is realistic for this team?