The Admirals won 6-5 against the Lake Erie Monsters Sunday night. This one ended up becoming far closer than it had to be. The Ads lead 6-2 in the third period before finding them holding on into the final seconds for a one-goal victory.
Filip Forsberg kicked off the scoring in this game with a power-play goal. The set up and goal was short and sweet. Charles-Olivier Roussel softly passed over to Forsberg who promptly one-timed it by Calvin Pickard in net for his fourth goal as an Admiral this season.
The next Admirals goals came in the late stages of the first period and took place almost one-minute apart. Kevin Henderson scored an even strength goal for his fourth of the season. Henderson was racing behind Pickard’s net and banked the puck into the net off of the netminder’s left skate. Just 1:08 after that goal the Ads secured another goal from the power-play. Roussel’s shot from the point was pinged in by Taylor Beck for his tenth goal of the season. After the horrors of playing in Lake Erie, the first period finished with the Ads leading 3-0 and outshooting their opponent by a hefty 17-7.
In the second period there were four goals scored between the Ads and Monsters – including both scoring shorthanded.
After the Ads saw Beck and Jarvinen go off to the box, the Monsters had a short opportunity to wheel out a 5-3 power-play chance. Almost the moment Beck left the box to get involved the Monsters scored on the power-play to draw the game back to 3-1. Joey Hishon scored a very crafty goal: played in-tight to Darling and still beat him top shelf. It was Hishon’s sixth goal of the season.
Then came a shorty for the Ads. The Monsters had a play set up perfectly for a one-timer on the left wing but the shot was fanned and the puck flew out of the zone. This set in motion a two-on-one for Simon Moser and Colton Sissons. The Olympian and the All Star skated into the offensive zone. Moser waited and delivered a stiff shot on Pickard that just squeaked behind him but stalled in the goal crease. Sissons was able to whack it in before Lake Erie could clear for his team-leading fourteenth goal of the season.
Fun Fact: All goals scored in North America by Filip Forsberg, to this point, were on the power-play. Well fun fact no longer! Forsberg, who was skating in towards the slot from the right wing, stopped on a dime and fired an absolute howitzer of a slap shot. It was his second goal of the night and fifth with the Admirals.
The Admirals woes when it comes to conceding shorthanded goals continued tonight when Guillaume Desbiens was on the receiving end of a great feed by Andrew Agozzino. It is the eight shorthanded goal allowed this season by the Ads and second in as many days.
In the third period the Ads buried their third power-play goal of the game. Beck tossed a cross ice pass from the left to right wing where Miikka Salomaki was stationed for a shot. He took it first time and scored his eighth goal of the season.
The game was at a now very comfortable 6-2 Admirals lead. So it felt at the time anyways.
The Monsters responded to the Ads sixth goal with a score of their own less than a minute later. A great feed from the left wing pocket by Mikael Tam to the backdoor of Darling’s net set up a tap in for Hishon and his second goal of the game. 6-3 Admirals.
Next we were given the game’s one and only fight: Mike Liambas versus Vincent Arseneau. Liambas pounded his opponent with some solid blows to the face before getting whipped down to the ice. It looked like Arseneau threw a late punch once they hit the ice and proceeded to shove Liambas into the ice long after the fact. Arseneau would not head to the box right away. He needed his face repaired.
Then some very odd penalty calls started to manifest themselves late in the game. There were lots of antics by Garrett Meurs of the Monsters in this game where he engaged players, set them up to fight, got roughed up, and skated off earning a power-play for his team. This happened late against Vinny Saponari – who gave Meurs a good couple of whacks to his face. Then a light tripping call along the boards also sent Scott Valentine to the box. It was a five-on-three chance that would be capitalized on for Lake Erie – and a hat trick for Joey Hishon. His eight goal of the season came when his shot deflected off of Joe Piskula’s skate and rolled up Darling’s arm and in. 6-4 Admirals.
Just when Pickard was waving at the Monsters bench to empty his net for an extra attacker: goal. The Monsters tallied for their third-straight goal of the third period to make it 6-5 Admirals with 1:20 remaining. Credit where credit is due: the shot and goal from Matt Hunwick was a beauty from an absurd angle. Probably one of many that Darling would want back, but a nasty shot that found the net.
The extra attacker was brought on. The anxiety was raised. The Ads missed two chances for an empty netter to provide an exhale before time expired. Then, exhale, game over. It certainly was made a whole lot more exciting than it had to be. But, at day’s end, the Admirals got their first win over the Lake Erie Monsters since March 16, 2012.
Ramblings: Filip Forsberg had a four-point night (two goals, two assists) and lead the game in shots on goal with six. Taylor Beck had a three-point night (one goal, two assists).Charles-Olivier Roussel nearly picked up as many assists as he has stitches on his face *ba dum tss* with two primary assists coming on the power-play. Bryan Rodney was a healthy scratch tonight with the team electing to go with Scott Valentine in his place. Valentine picked up an assist and four-penalty minutes tonight.
Thoughts on tonight’s game? Did it really have to be this close? What happened in the third period? Does Scott Darling’s last two games in net get you worried at all about his game? When can we expect to lose Filip Forsberg again to Nashville? Do you believe Valentine will start over Rodney when the Ads take to the road?