The Admirals won their first game of the season 2-1 in a shootout on the road against Abbotsford Saturday night. Magnus Hellberg came up big in this one with 26 saves and stopping all four shootout attempts he faced. Ads youngster Colton Sissons managed to score his first professional goal in front of his friends and family in British Columbia, as well.
“We really did a lot of good things,” said assistant coach Stan Drulia after the game on Sports Radio 1250 WSSP. “It was good to see the guys continue to battle. We gave up that power-play goal early in the third and we didn’t sit back. We kept on pressing and playing the game we’re supposed to play.”
The opening period ended scoreless, but the Ads missed out on a solid chance to open the scoring early. At the 10:51 marker, Mike Liambas was taken down and on the backside of the play the Heat double up on minor penalties with a roughing call. The Ads had a full two-minutes of 5-on-3 power-play to work with. Not only didn’t they cash in. They didn’t even register a shot on goal. Chalk up another gritty performance to the Heat’s penalty kill.
Shots were much more frequent in the second period. The Ads mustered up a 15-8 shots advantage in the period. Yet, the deadlock remained and both goalies stood up well to the increased pressure poured in on net.
With an interference call being carried over to the start of the third period, the Heat broke the deadlock seconds into frame through Roman Horak. It took the Heat forty-one seconds into the period to cash in on the man-advantage. They managed to clean up off the face off and establish the Ads defensive zone fast. Horak, the Heat’s fourth best scorer last season, picked up his first goal of the season.
The Ads would equalize off of Colton Sissons first professional goal. The native of British Columbia, playing in front of family and friends in Abbotsford this weekend, deflected a shot on net by Taylor Beck that finally beat Heat goalie Reto Berra. Sissons recorded his first career point in the season opener last night with an assist. Tonight? It’s the goal that the family and friends were able to cheer.
Like the night before, this game was tightly contested and pushed its way into overtime. Unlike last night, there wasn’t solid chance to end it in overtime. The game was decided on a shootout with the Ads netting taking the win courtesy of Taylor Beck (glove side wrister), Patrick Cehlin (stick side slap shot), and Magnus Hellberg (who denied all four shootout attempts he faced).
The Ads take a hard earned three points in Abbotsford to start the season. Next up? A meeting on the road this coming Friday with last year’s Calder Cup champions the Grand Rapids Griffins. That will conclude the opening three game road stint to the season with the home opener against the Chicago Wolves taking place Saturday.
So Roundtable….Are you going to not dread shootouts anymore if Magnus keeps this up? Including the pre-season game, he’s now 14/14 in shootout chances. Sissons — so far so good, eh? Are you concerned at all about the 0-8 start on the power play?