Milwaukee ties things up with 2-0 Game Two victory

Photo by Scott Paulus
Photo by Scott Paulus

Magnus Hellberg stopped all 23 shots he faced, while goals by Austin Watson and Captain Mike Moore gave the Admirals all they needed to knot up the Western Conference Quarterfinals at 1-1.

Texas ended up outshooting Milwaukee 23-20, but the Ads were able to squeeze one past the Stars midway through the second period and finish with a remarkable empty-netter.

While the first period ended scoreless, the Ads had a strong start controlling most of the action. They got their first power play chance just 20 seconds in after a Kevin Connauton hooking call, and used it to build early momentum.

Mattias Ekholm had two pretty good chances on the PP, but the Stars eventually killed it off. Nevertheless, Milwaukee finished the period up 12-2 in shots.

The Ads got another early power play chance 37 seconds into the second period, but again failed to put one past Christopher Nilstorp.

After a brief rumble along the boards, Brad Winchester was down on the ice for a few moments and had to be helped up and off by trainer Doug Agnew and Patrick Cehlin. He went to the locker room and did not return. No news on his status.

After a couple of nice saves by Hellberg on long blasts from Francis Wathier and Joe Morrow, Watson got Milwaukee on the board.

Mike Liambas fired a nice shot from the left circle that popped off Nilstorp right to Watson. Watty was able to chip it past the Stars goalie who was late adjusting the rebound.

Watson said after the intial shot it was a matter of beating the goalie to the puck.

The Ads went on the PK right after taking the lead, but a shorthanded rush by Cehlin drew a tripping call on Mike Hedden that evened things out.

Holding the 1-0 lead for the final 20 minutes would be no easy task for the Ads, as they were dealt a blow in the first four minutes.

Liambas was called for charging after a big hit along the boards, and he then dropped the gloves with Luke Gazdic. After Gazdic dropped Liambas to the ice with a vicious hook to the head, Liambas looked a little dazed getting up. He also would not return after being helped off the ice.

The results of the fiasco were offsetting five-minute fighting calls, a ten-minute misconduct call and two-minute instigating call on Gazdic along with the initial charging call on Liambas. In short, after two minutes of four-on-four, the Ads faced a three-minute Stars power play.

The defense came up huge and Hellberg made some nice stops, as the Ads killed off what could’ve been a big turning point for the Stars.

Coach Dean Evason was pleased with his team’s performance on the extended PK and overall on defense.

With the Ads keeping the good chances away from their net, Nilstorp hit the bench with 1:30 to go.

Moore erased any doubt with a goal from the top of the left circle…of his own zone. His laser beam from the opposite end hit the back of the empty net to seal the deal.


When asked about which Nashville guys he expects to rejoin the Ads Wednesday, Evason promptly replied, “All of them.”

Evason also gave his expectations of the team’s trip to Texas, complimenting their ability to never get “too high” or “too low” after a game.

As mentioned, we don’t know the statuses of Liambas and Winchester and will keep you posted.

Milwaukee is 42-73 historically on the road in the playoffs and 9-13 in road Game Threes.


Did tonight change anybody’s opinions on the overall series outlook? Do you think the Ads can pull off two of three on the road?

While it would be foolish to not want guys like Chris Mueller back in the lineup, are you at all concerned it may mess with the Admirals’ chemistry at this point?

24 thoughts on “Milwaukee ties things up with 2-0 Game Two victory”

  1. No, I think we need all the help we can get. This Texas team is very good. Also, MVG can’t take every face off. Beck puts shots on net and thanks what we need… send them all down!

  2. I think we need all the help we can get and the NHL experience the returning guys got should help. I do not think it will mess with the chemistry as the lineup has been constantly changing the entire second half of the season. I hope they can win 2 of 3 in Texas, but remember the Stars are going to get guys returned too. It will be hard-fought by both sides. Good hockey!

    As for one event last night, I am pretty sure Liambas has a concussion. That whole series of events was stupid and unnecessary.

    Sorry to see Winchester get injured. Hopefully he is not out for too long.

  3. I agree with the others. Maybe if the refs called #6 Oleksiak for more than 2 minutes on the boarding penalty in the second period, Liambas wouldn’t have gone after him in the third period.

    I am so afraid of Dallas, you know, the team that lost their last 5 NHL games to not make the playoffs. Not! Send down some more goons to re-inforce their goons in Austin, who seem to be leading the AHL playoffs in Misconduct penalties. I hope the Admirals beat these guys, they aren’t nearly as good as their seed indicates! Dirty, maybe, but not that good.

  4. Didn’t see Friday’s game but didn’t see anything last night that would lead me to believe Texas wins this series. Ice seemed tilted in the first for the Admirals but didn’t get enough quality chances.

    Felt good seeing Connauton take that early penalty in the first. I would have bought everyone beers if the Ads had scored on that power play!

  5. Thanks for coming up to visit Vlad. Saw you in the craft beer line…. What did you end up getting?

    Connauton looks exactly the way you left him. He had a goal in Friday’s game, but has made a bunch of questionable passes. He assisted on that empty net goal with a perfect pass to the defenseman.

    I meant to say something after the first game, but that power play setup looks new to me, with basically Ellis is the only guy stationed at the point. Worked like a charm on Friday….Texas was ready for it yesterday.

    Today’s transactions show the Stars getting back Alex Chiasson (who may still be hurt), Jordie Benn, and Reilly Smith. It certainly makes them better, but we should be getting some good talent back too.

    So who all is going to Austin this week?

  6. Ryan, are you sure the power play setup was new? There may have been a slight adjustment, but I think they’ve been using that setup for the last couple of months? In the last chalk talk, Coach Evason explained the setup, having one guy up top, two guys above the circle on either wall, and two guys down load behind the net… and that the two units were mirror images. One would focus on the right side of the ice and one on the left side of the ice. The guy opposite Ellis (was it Puustineen?) was dropping down lower and not coming out towards the blue line I think, but for the most part it was similar??

    I’m going to CT this week. Was hoping for the CT Whale to make the playoffs, but they didn’t. Then had hopes for Springfield to have a home game since they’re only 15 mins away from where I’ll be in CT but of course, their home games are this weekend so I’ll miss that too :(

  7. Interesting… Forsberg is not coming to Milwaukee…

  8. You may be right, Creed. I might have just not noticed it until this weekend. If that’s the case, shame on me. I think Puustinen playing farther away from the point is what caught my eye the most.

    Not surprised about Forsberg. I take that back…not surprised that he’s not coming…but to finish high school? That’s definitely a new one. I can’t help but think there’s more to the story than that.

  9. Nashville, Tenn. (April 28, 2013) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has reassigned forwards Daniel Bång, Taylor Beck, Kevin Henderson, Chris Mueller and Joonas Rask, and defenseman Victor Bartley, to Milwaukee (AHL). The Admirals play Game Three of their best-of-five Calder Cup Playoff series with Texas on Wednesday (series tied 1-1).

  10. I’m glad the Six are coming back but sad that those that got us in the playoffs won’t be playing. Who do you think will be sitting in Texas?
    Any word on Winchester or Liambas?

  11. IMO Winchester was a big reason this team turned around. He’s so dominant with the puck along the boards and behind the net, especially on the PP. If he’s out, it’s really going to be a loss for this team. Hopefully others will be able to step up, especially guys like Mueller and Henderson. Bartley will also be a huge plus. The question now is who sits? On D – Bitetto, Ford, Ellis, Ekholm, Moore, Valentine, Jarvinen, Piskula, and Bartley on D… I’m assuming Bitetto and Valentine for sure, but who sits for Bartley? I hate to say it, but Ford? On O – assuming Liambas is out and Crowder sits, that opens up spots for Bang and Henderson. Shalla sits for Mueller. If Winchester is out, Rask is in. I think Beck is still hurt, isn’t he? If not, who else sits for Beck, Budish?

  12. CEDAR PARK, TX – The Texas Stars, proud American Hockey League affiliate of the Dallas Stars, announced today that Dallas has assigned defenseman Jordie Benn and forwards Alex Chiasson and Reilly Smith to Texas. All three players will be available for Game 3 of the Stars 2013 Calder Cup Playoff series with Milwaukee on Wednesday

  13. After the first two games in Milwaukee, I hate to jump to conclusions, but in my humble opinion this is the Admirals series to lose.

    Other than the late stages, Milwaukee handled Texas in Game 2, could have won Game 1, and are bringing back several impact players for the games in Austin with time to practice. Texas does get three REALLY good players back, but not nearly as many as I expected.

    Hellberg is unbelievable right now. Though the Stars’ goaltending has been good, the Big Swede is dominant.

    I would be curious to see if Milwaukee would be willing to use seven D-men? Or perhaps someone as a swing (D/extra forward). Coach Evason has some big decisions awaiting him. Will Winchester be back? Seemed like a strange play on the injury. If he isn’t, that’s a HUGE loss for Milwaukee. I completely agree with Creed and I dare to say that other than maybe Watson, he’s been the Admirals best forward in the second half. The Madison native is a man playing against boys at times and if healthy should be back in the NHL next year.

  14. To add to Jason’s comments, watching Winchester has been a joy. While he may not be a speedster or flashy player, his on-ice smarts is something else. He’s able to to know where to be and when. If he does not make an NHL squad next year, I hope the Preds or Ads give him an offer to remain in Milwaukee. Since he lives in Madison (at least I think I read that somewhere), it’s not a big stretch for him to stick around if he doesn’t want to give up his hockey career just yet.

  15. Really curious on the status of Winchester!!

    Saw this blog a few months ago, and decided to check it out again because you seem to have more in depth/smarter information than the admirals website themselves.

    It’ll be nice to have guys like Mueller back, but if Winchester is out, we’ll be hurting for sure. His experience seems to shine and lead others. I really like him paired with Hamill.


    Thanks for the good read.

  16. Steve Begin made it back to the NHL, so I really think Brad Winchester will to. So many teams are looking for that type of player, and Brad would a lot of toughness, NHL experience, plus a little bit of offense to a team. Its crazy to think a team like the New York Rangers or Edmonton Oilers couldn’t use a player with his determination and size. Plus teams will have to have cut players next year with the salary cap dropping, so Winchester would be a great addition on the cheap.
    If he falls through the cracks again, the ex-Badger would be a fantastic fit again in Milwaukee. You can never have enough of those types of players.

  17. Its gonna be very interesting to see who sits for the new returned players. I wish valentine could be left to play wing he adds a physical element and was key in the dirty areas in game2. I don’t think rask plays, too new and too many guys ahead on the depth chart. Our players need to be on their toes teaxs got both Alex Chiasson and Reilly Smith back I’ve watched 90% of the dallas games this year if Chiasson is healthy he is leathal, before his injury he had a goal in 6 or 7 straight games and reilly smith has a very good shot and the ability to make plays happen. Benn is big and brings grit and power another reason valentine needs to play. Be ready for the series to go the distance, if we want to win we can’t make foolish mistakes because this team will punish us for it. Nilstorp is a good netminder but if you get him chasing and out of postion he can be exposed. My keys to the game 1) shots on net- get plenty of puck on net action wear the goalie down. 2) match intensity- texas is #1 in the west and first game at home they are going to be pumped we need to match that. 3) score early and often- don’t make magnus the only reason we win he’s played great the last half of the season, now with our guys back let’s score and give him a break from having to stand on his head all game.

  18. I agree, Valentine should be played at wing, but unless we have injuries, I think he’s going to have to sit. Who else would you sit to keep him in the lineup assuming Winchester isn’t hurt, and Beck is able to play? I’d say maybe Cam Reid, but I think coach likes him too much to sit?

    Someone else asked about playing 7 D… I thought about that myself but with Texas’ speed, can we really afford to double shift a player or two for more than one game and be able to keep up with them? Texas is such a fast, aggressive team… I was worried that after losing Liambas and Winchester last game we would end up not keeping up. I was pleasantly surprised that wasn’t an issue, but if we double shift a guy or two for 3 games in a row, I think it may catch up to us? You occasionally need to throw out that 4th line (Liambas, Shalla, whoever) to give everyone else a rest, especially when you’re dealing with a lot of penalties or power plays. The only way I’d say go 7 D would be if that seventh player was Valentine who transitioned between O and D throughout the game. :)

  19. Ryan, two new-to-me beers: a Hopalicious and Lakefront’s Stein Lager (which I’m gonna go find in quantity tomorrow!)

    Good luck in Texas guys, hope to get back to the BC for some more games next week!

  20. Creed, I like what you are thinking when it comes to valentine, what if and this is a huge “What If” they sit ford for just one of these 3 games perhaps game 4. And only to give him a game of rest that way we could continue to use valentine on wing and barring injury the normal 6 dmen. Or throw ellis on wing he loves playing as I say “balls deep” in the attack zone anyways I don’t know. Its so many choices to make for the lineup if I’m the coach. Many guys have stepped up all year and now we have a full case of ammo going into the fight. Lock n load! Ill play another game on nhl13 before the real game on wednesday and see if I go 2 for 2 with results. (Last game was 3-0 win with….mike moore scoring a goal spooky I know) ill post a pic on twitter before gametime. Let’s Go Ads!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s