Fifty Seconds to Forget; Ads lose 2-1

(Photo credit to Scott Paulus)

The Admirals lost 2-1 against the Chicago Wolves Saturday night. The undoing to this game came in the opening minute of the second period when the Wolves scored two goals from two Bryan Rodney turnovers. Credit where credit is due, the defensive game the Wolves played tonight was tough for the Ads to crack – and AHL All Star netminder Jake Allen’s twenty-five save performance only backed that up.

It was a rather slow start for both teams – the Ads in particular. After ten minutes the shots were four to one in the Wolves favor and the lone Ads shot was a long range dump in the forced Jake Allen to paddle the puck aside.

Where the Ads period appeared to pick up was after a Mike Liambas hit at center ice which set loose his linemates Mathieu Tousignant and Joonas Rask. The hit freed the puck. Tousignant raced it in and fed to Rask who almost marked his return to the ice with a crafty sliding backhand shot. He tried working Allen to the five-hole but received nothing but pad.

The Ads responded just after that shift with a power-play goal from Vinny Saponari. This goal was really created once the puck settled on the tape of Anthony Bitetto’s stick. He was on the right wing door step of Allen’s net and held it long enough that the All Star goalie became impatient. The shot from Bitetto came after Allen was way out of position. The eventual puck scramble went to Saponari who floated the puck into an open net for his fourth goal of the season.

Bryan Rodney’s start to the second period was one to forget. He turned the puck over twice to tee up two goals by the Wolves in the space of fifty-seconds to turn a first period lead into a second period deficit fast.

Dmitrij Jaskin was able to pick Rodney’s pocket and pop a backhander past Magnus Hellberg to level the game at 1-1 twenty-one seconds into the second period. After the Ads picked up a power-play it was again Rodney who set up a Wolves goal. The Ads like setting up their power-play unit with a defenseman atop the middle of the blue line, forwards on the wall, and one on the goal mouth. The puck alluded Rodney who then awkwardly swatted at it to turn Keith Aucoin on a shorthanded breakaway. The veteran Aucoin buried the shorty and, in a blink, give the Wolves a 2-1 lead.

Despite a late rush with an extra attacker on, featuring multiple offensive zone face offs, the scoreline would stay 2-1 to the Amtrak Rivals. The Wolves are now 4-0-0-1 against the Ads this season with Aucoin scoring the game-winning goal in the last two meetings. Every single Amtrak Rivalry game has been decided by one-goal. Of the two games in the rivalry that didn’t spill into overtime: both have been Admirals home defeats. This one more than most is a tale of what could have been. Two goals in fifty-seconds. That was the sucker punch that cost the Ads tonight.


Joonas Rask returned to the lineup for his first game since injuring his right shoulder 12/20/13 vs. San Antonio. Tonight the healthy scratches included Zach Budish and Scott Valentine. Still out injured is Patrick Cehlin who missed his 26th straight game with an undisclosed injury. Magnus Hellberg made his first consecutive starts in net since 11/27/13 @ Rockford and 11/30/13 @ Charlotte. Ads d-man Charles-Olivier Roussel was caught with a high stick tonight and required eight stitches to his left eyebrow – after the game he told me you could see bone. Naturally he played the rest of the game.

13 thoughts on “Fifty Seconds to Forget; Ads lose 2-1”

  1. Tomorrow morning I’ll have a Chatterbox with Dean Evason, Bryan Rodney, Filip Forsberg, and Magnus Hellberg.

    Video Highlights will be added once they’re available on the Ads YouTube-isphere.

  2. What happened to the one that called me out about my dislike of Bryan Rodney??? That guy was just awful tonight… The bonehead penalty shortly after those 2 goals he pissed away didn’t help!!!

  3. Someone correct me if I’m wrong… with a minute or two to go in the game there was a face-off in the Chicago zone. Both players in the face-off kind of missed the puck, and the Chicago player went down on his knees and batted the puck back with his hand. Shouldn’t that have been a penatly?

    Rule book, 76.4:

    “Both players facing-off are prohibited from batting the puck with their hand in attempt to win the face-off. Any attempt by either center to win the face-off by batting the puck with their hand shall result in a minor penalty…..The two players involved in the actual face-off (the centers) are not permitted to play the puck with their hand without incurring a penalty under this rule until such time as a third player (from either team) has at least touched the puck.”

    I swear no one else touched the puck, but I guess I could be wrong.

  4. CreedFeed: That’s a great observation that I didn’t give much thought to at the time! It may well have. I was more annoyed by those faceoffs being won by Chicago – with them clearly false starting on at least two out of three with no ejections from the faceoff and a re-drop. I felt that was questionable as well.

    Mark: Let’s not try to turn this into the Bryan Rodney Thunderdome… even if tonight he certainly earned it. After the game Evason said Hellberg was left out to dry… and I can’t quite say what Hellberg said to me in confidence after I turned off my recorder… I’ll just say he was upset with another close loss to Chicago.

  5. Send Rodney to Cincinnati. He is a D-man who is a defensive liability! On the first goal, one of his skates appeared to hit a rut and throw him off balance. That was fresh ice. He was slow to recover and lost the puck to the swifter Jaskin. Rodney bent down to stop the puck with his glove on the second goal. He missed it. Tell him to use his stick next time. He couldn’t catch Aucoin unless he was launched out of that Uncle Ben’s sling that they use during intermission. I felt sorry for Magnus.

    The problem all night long (at least 45 minutes of game time) was the Admirals being outskated by Chicago in all three zones. Next time, play Valentine instead of Rodney versus Chicago. People went around Rodney most of the game. He didn’t have enough foot speed tonight. He also broke or dropped his stick repeatedly. I saw two drops in the D-zone in the first 4 minutes of the third period. The Admirals can’t play with one D-man against Chicago. He was ineffective on the power play. I even heard some boos for him tonight in the third period. I only remember Jon Blum and Shaun Evans being booed as Admirals at home.

    Other than Liambis with 2 big hits, the Admirals couldn’t check the faster Wolves. Ford had a good hit, but the idiot ref called cross-checking when the guy lost an edge. When Chicago players cross-checked, there were no calls for the entire game. I noticed that Hellberg wanted a piece Bolduc. They were talking to each other after the second period. Magnus shoved Bolduc out of his crease at least twice. The refs never called any goaltender interference. All four on ice officials did a poor job. They weren’t the reason why the Ads lost the game, but they didn’t help. The Chicago players didn’t seem to appreciate “The Gang of Four” either. They spent most breaks in the first period talking to one or another of them on the ice.

    Does anybody know why the officials frequently went over to both team benches, especially in the first period? I don’t think I have ever seen so much of that in a game with zero fights and I have seen about 1200 regular season pro games in person. Neither Evason nor Anderson seemed to ask the officials for any explanations, which is surprising, considering the low level of calls.

  6. Adsfan: Based on Evason’s response tonight, I think Rodney is out and Valentine is in tomorrow night barring something serious.

    The one thing I could say in regards to the officials talking with the benches tonight is there were lots and LOTS of slow changes on the benches to set up changes prior to puck drops. There was one situation, in particular, where the Ads sent Beck out instead of Forsberg (who was getting a quick helmet fix), and then there was such a delay due to the Wolves TV timeout that the Ads tried to change the two… which the Wolves, rightfully so, called foul and the Ads couldn’t make the change. Evason was furious about that – showed him on the jumbotron as a result. I think lots of those discussions were in regards to changes and how slow stoppages were being conducted.

  7. Thanks for the info, Lavender!

    Evason should have been mad about the Wolves changing players on their icing calls, especially in the third period. I saw them change at least two guys, maybe three, on one play and the idiot officials didn’t catch it. The players weren’t all injured or had equipment failures. How do 4 on-ice officials not see that? It happened a few times that I remember, usually with one or two players.

  8. Completely neglected this update I learned from the locker room after the game (added to Ramblings): Ads d-man Charles-Olivier Roussel was caught with a high stick tonight and required eight stitches to his left eyebrow – after the game he told me you could see bone. Naturally he played the rest of the game.

    Adsfan: I thought there were a few plays along the boards that didn’t draw a call the Admirals way, too. Especially given the Ford penalty in the game for a cross-check – the precedent is set for shots into the boards. When things on the boards start getting called and then not getting called… that’s when injuries happen. Players will test what they can and cannot do to find the lines. Never really happy seeing that take place. Yet another reason why both the Ads and Wolves benches might have been talkative.

  9. I’ll chalk it up to the fact that I’m a little butt hurt over getting to the game at about 6:10 and still didn’t get one of those scarves that I’ll never wear anyways!

  10. Mark: You’re not the only one who I heard missed out on that. I’ll follow up on that tomorrow for you to hear if they didn’t have as many as they thought or if it actually was a big rush at the gate. Press release I got said the scarf was for the first 2,500 fans. It certainly was a fantastic crowd but I don’t remember it being all that full when the gates opened. I will get back to you on that tomorrow.

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