(Video highlights at the end of the post)
The Craig Smith points parade continued in Rosemont on Sunday afternoon with a goal and an assist, as the Admirals clinched the Amtrak Rivalry title with a 4-1 victory over the Wolves.
Smith’s goal turned out to be the game winner, and he was on the ice for all four Admiral goals.
Brad Winchester opened the scoring with his third in as many nights (all with primary assists from Craig Smith), as Smith picked off an errant pass from Kevin Connauton, and fed a wide open Winchester for the first goal.
Smith then finished off a tic-tac-toe passing play with the man advantage at 1:28 of the second period.
Connauton got some redemption as he made it a one-goal game at 13:41 of the second with a shot from the point that made its way through a screen.
Later in the period, with Jeremie Blain serving a double minor for high sticking Patrick Cehlin, Austin Watson deflected another Mattias Ekholm shot for another power play goal. It was the second time we’ve seen that routine this weekend.
Michael Latta got the empty netter in the final minute.
– The win bumped the Admirals up to 7th place in the Western Conference, and they now have points in seven straight games. (6-0-1-0 in that span)
– Special teams were special again. Admirals were 2 for 6 on the power play, and killed off all four Wolves chances.
– The Admirals outshot the Wolves 38-20, but that large differential is deceiving. The Wolves had a lot of shots attempted and some phenomenal chances…but they had a tough time getting them through to Jeremy Smith. Lots of them were blocked or simply missed the net. Still, to see that kind of a number for the Admirals in the third game of a 3-in-3 is outstanding. Over the weekend, they put 115 shots on net. Sustainable? We’ll see.
– High marks for Jeremy Smith, who had his first action since March 8th, also a win against the Wolves.
– They’ve been doing this Amtrak Rivalry thing since 2009, and this is the first time the Admirals have won it. And they did it with three games against the Wolves still to go.
– Still waiting for the Badger Trifecta…. with a scoring play including Smith, Winchester, and Piskula. We’ve come close a few times this weekend…
– Coach Evason had said that they were going to reevaluate Craig Smith’s situation after the games this weekend. That may be the last we see of him. Or maybe we’ll see him back at the Bradley Center on Wednesday night against the Lake Erie Monsters. Preds play Monday and Thursday this week.
– Latta and Mike Liambas both were involved in fights in the first period. Liambas fared a little better than Latta did…but check out the very thorough game highlights below…the fights went on a very long time.