The Admirals lost 6-1 against the Lake Erie Monsters Saturday night. The rout saw just about everything – including a goalie fight between Scott Darling and Sami Aittokallio – and a hat trick for Monsters left winger David van der Gulik.
Last night’s game featured some big time hitting from Lake Erie. Tonight’s game flipped the script quick with a massive hit by Joonas Jarvinen on Garrett Meurs. This triggered a fight when Daniel Maggio jumped Jarvinen who responded in kind. Decent scrap – all be it a quick one. The bigger thing from this was the lack of an instigator penalty on Maggio for jumping Jarvinen after a clean check. Dean Evason was furious regarding the no call and actually caused the next puck drop to be delayed because the officials had to go over and chat about the incident. How diplomatic of the officials!
After a faceoff win, the Monsters were able to tag Darling for two quick shots and a goal. The faceoff win by Mark Olver fell to J.T. Wyman who fired immediately on goal. Wyman’s shot was stopped with a left pad save from Scott Darling but the rebound was one-timed by Joey Hishon for the opening goal. It was his fifth goal of the season and, for the second consecutive night, the Monsters grabbed the opening goal.
Only fifty-seven seconds later the line of Kevin Henderson, Austin Watson, and Simon Moser were able to equalize. Henderson threw a puck at Sami Aittokallio in net and it deflected off Watson in front. Due to the knuckling action, the loose puck alluded the Monsters netminder and in to collect the garbage was Moser who beat the outstretched glove hand of Aittokallio for his sixth goal of the season.
The first period ended on the 1-1 scoreline but it is worth looking back to the previous night’s performance. The Ads had a season low fourteen shots in the entire game last night. In the first period tonight they outshot the Monsters 13-8. I can only assume what was said after last night and prior to game time was, “make the goalie work tonight.”
Sadly, the first period work rate wasn’t carried over into the second. It took the Monsters just forty seconds into the second period to regain the lead. David van der Gulik was able to beat Darling for his fourth goal of the season
Continuing the second period theme, the Monsters scored through van der Gulik again – this time on the power-play. The penalty setting the stage for this goal was a faceoff violation against Colton Sissons who played the puck with an open hand on the draw. On the man-advantage the Monsters fired a shot that was blocked out in front by Bryan Rodney. The puck fell in line with van der Gulik who quickly hit a shot on net after the block by Rodney – throwing off Darling in net. It was his second goal of the period and fifth of the season.
The Ads started the third period due to a ‘closing a hand on the puck’ penalty by van der Gulik late in the second. Unfortunately, the Ads were unable to cash in and, worse, allowed a break from the box to van der Gulik – who went forehand to backhand and beat Darling for his hat trick.
After Mike Liambas was called for tripping the Monsters tallied for their fifth goal of the game. The shot by Karl Stollery was banked in off of Scott Ford’s leg and in past Darling for the Monsters fifth goal of the game. Liambas, who was in the box for that power-play, was in the face of the officials once he was let out. He was given a ten-minute game misconduct and this may have triggered some of the raw emotion from the Ads that followed.
After a scrum behind the net of Aittokallio, Scott Darling skated out from his own net to center ice and challenged his counter-part in net. There was a pause. There was a shrug from Darling. Then ka-blammo – we had ourselves a goalie fight! Darling took it to the Monsters netminder and both were subsequently tossed from the game.
After all the dust settled from that Magnus Hellberg entered the fire and allowed a power-play goal almost instantly. The Ads gave the Monsters nine chances on the power-play tonight and they scored three times. This goal was credited to Mark Olver – his ninth of the season.
The game continued getting chippy at the end and the two finished with a combined 120 penalty minutes from 27 infractions. To put the fist to this game was Mathieu Tousignant who fought Mitchell Heard and actually leveled the much bigger opponent to the ice.
So, these games in Cleveland this weekend were about as ugly as it has been all season. Fortunately the “Miley Cyrus” game on Monday against the Iowa Stars on home ice offers a quick refresher to the team. It’s a long bus trip back from Ohio. The team will need to ice their knuckles and study up on all the wrongs of the weekend in prep of that meeting.
Ramblings: Mark Van Guilder, who was injured in the second period of last night’s game and didn’t return, did play tonight. Scott Valentine returned to the ice for the first time since 12/21 @Rockford. He injured his left leg crashing into the boards in that game. His return to the lineup meant a healthy scratch was needed and the odd man out for tonight was Josh Shalla.
The Ads have lost six-straight games over two seasons against the Lake Erie Monsters. What is it about Lake Erie? What happened to the Ads this weekend? With the game as out of hand as it was – what are your opinions of turning to fighting late in the game as opposed to earlier when it could make a bigger dent? What team should we expect on Monday night against Iowa?