Composure Is Everything; Ads win 3-2

Miikka Salomaki picked up two power-play goals en route to the Milwaukee Admirals 3-2 win over the Toronto Marlies. (Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

The Admirals won 3-2 against the Toronto Marlies Tuesday night. All three goals by the Ads came on the power-play: Salomaki, Salomaki again, and Sissons. The Ads started fast. The Marlies finished ugly – with eighteen penalty minutes in the third period alone. Despite a goal scored with the extra attacker on – the Marlies shot themselves in the foot in the third and the Ads were able to pick up their first win in three games.

The opening goal tonight came from the Admirals on the power-play. Taylor Beck had a good chance in on goal but his stick exploded. He skated to the bench, got a new twig, skated back into the action, and set into motion the power-play goal. Beck’s wing-to-wing pass found Bryan Rodney creeping in on the right wing. Rodney’s shot nailed the pads of Marlies goaltender Garret Sparks and the puck went directly to Miikka Salomaki for a tap in. That is Salomaki’s ninth goal of the season.

Milwaukee dominated the opening period. It took the Marlies more than ten minutes to force Marek Mazanec to make a save. In total, the Ads outshot the Marlies 14-3 in the opening twenty-minutes. That meant the Ads team leader for shots in the period, Salomaki, was on level terms with the entire Marlies team. Even with a power-play to their credit rarely did the Marlies sustain any offensive pressure.

After a successful penalty kill the Marlies equalized through a rebound goal by Wade MacLeod. Major credit goes to the initial shot from Greg McKegg who waited, waited, and waited for a shot to the net. When he fired Mazanec made the pad save but the puck kicked out to MacLeod who finished the rest. It was his fifth goal of the season.

The second period was much more even between the two. Shots were 15-12 in the Admirals favor. The bulk of those shots from the Marlies were low shots on Mazanec’s pads in an effort to generate rebounds for players crashing the net. It worked once. They kept pushing the entire period looking to make Mazanec’s legs move.

Midway through the second period saw a very ugly boarding penalty by Brad Ross on Scott Ford. The puck was in the right wing pocket as the Marlies were forechecking. Ross had full view of Ford’s name and number – and Ford was a few feet clear of the end boards. Ross put a shoulder to the nameplate and drove Ford face first into the glass. Ford remained down briefly and then got up swinging. He landed one solid punch before things settled down. The call on the ice was a boarding minor. Nothing against Ford for the punch. Blood was drawn from the hit. The only possible reason I can see why that wasn’t a boarding major and a game misconduct was the reaction by Ford once he got up. Should that merit the lack of a match penalty for that type of hit? In my book – absolutely not. It looked ugly at full speed as it happened. It looked even worse on the replays – which were shown before a call was made on the ice.

In the third period some more nastiness came from the Marlies. Right in front of their player bench Mike Liambas was smashed from the back by Andrew MacWilliam. Liambas looked like he was dangerously close to catching his chin on the top of the boards. He went right after scrum following the hit. Nothing more than words from that post-boarding reaction. Also, that hit was also just a minor penalty.
The ensuing power-play for the Ads resulted in their third goal on the man-advantage. A net front scramble for a loose puck finally ended with Colton Sissons getting the crucial touch to chip it by Sparks. That goal extends Sissons team lead in goals to fifteen.

Toronto’s undoing in this game was really their own in the third period. The visiting penalty box’s door darn near needed WD-40 – and may well get treated before Friday’s game. In total the Marlies took four penalties for eighteen minutes worth of PIM’s and hell for Marlies head coach Steve Spott to endure. There were two five-on-three chances that exceeded one-minute in length. And it felt as if, once a penalty was killed or finished off by an Ads power-play goal, another penalty was drawn. The Marlies were beyond agitated in this game. Drawing misconducts on the ice and from the bench.

Through all the awfulness of the third period the Marlies did manage to score a goal with the extra attacker on the ice. They worked low around Mazanec’s cage and Sam Carrick’s pass, post-to-post, was slammed home by McKegg.

Pressure continued for the final 1:31 of the game. Luckily for the Admirals that just wasn’t enough time to level the game. The Marlies, and all their frustration, got the better of them in the last period. By every sense of the word: the Marlies earned the loss tonight.

Ramblings: In tonight’s game, the Admirals fired a season-high forty-six shots on goal. Kevin Henderson was a healthy scratch and the team dressed seven defensemen. Bryan Rodney returned after a four-game spell of being a scratch. Taylor Beck, who tallied for two assists, moved past Neil Meadmore on Ads all-time (IHL and AHL) list with 109 pts – tied for fifty-fourth with Dan Eastman. By conceding two goals again tonight – Marek Mazanec continued his run of conceding no less than two goals in every single AHL start.

Thoughts on tonight’s game? Did the Marlies ‘lose’ this game more than the Admirals ‘won’ it? If you were in attendance, because I doubt the footage turns up online, what did you make of the boarding calls to Ford and Liambas? Let’s talk Filip Forsberg on a night when he doesn’t score goals: what do you see from him lately?

6 thoughts on “Composure Is Everything; Ads win 3-2”

  1. Video Highlights when/if they’re posted. Chatterbox tomorrow morning with Evason, Mazanec, and Salomaki. Working on a feature story on Scott Ford this week due up this coming Monday. Stay frosty until then!

  2. I still can’t figure out how that hit on Ford wasn’t a game misconduct. What were their coaches saying because the penalties never stopped. I think Filip was good, he is a magician with the puck. With that said I see why he is in the ahl, I thought some of his turnovers shouldn’t have been turnovers. I’m surprised we didn’t score 5+ goals.

  3. Ross should have been given a 5 minute major and a game misconduct. It was intentional. Ross took his hand and shoved Ford’s head into the glass, cutting his face while he hit him from behind. Ford looked a little stunned when he got up. He probably only had that single swing in him.

    The Liambas hit could have been a career-ender. I thought that both refs were near worthless. Toronto could have had double the penalties given to them. Brennan cross-checked somebody on nearly every shift the entire game. A few Toronto players were good at hitting Admirals after the whistle and giving out cheap shots. Ref #54 looked directly at one in the third period and didn’t call it. I thought that sections 204, 205 and 206 were going to knock the glass down after that! I have never seen the glass wave back and forth so many feet in the history of the Bradley Center.

    Toronto must have played poorly, because they didn’t look like a division leading team. They have talent and speed, but a few too many cheap shot artists. My favorite was one Marlie nailing his teammate when he missed an Admiral who didn’t have the puck. That was in the ugly third.

  4. I think this was one of Milwaukee’s best performances all season, though far from perfect. Toronto has a strong, edgy club, and is particularily talented along its blueline (with at least 2 or 3 NHL ready players), so its hard not to be impressed with 46 shots.

    Henderson, Beck and Watson are all curious subjects to me. I think Beck belongs in the NHL. Watson is a player that still needs seasoning, but in him you see all the tools for a future NHL player. If Nashville continues to stay below the playoff line and decides to pack it in this season, I would expect both of them to get some quality spring time with the Predators at the end of the season.

    Henderson for whatever reason has regressed this season, after an incredible development track in his career to this point. I would love to see him regain that chip on his shoulder that he seemed to compete with in previous seasons.

  5. The coaches can’t say much, but us fans sure can…. The officials were beyond awful. They missed as many calls as they made. The Ford and Liambis penalties could have been much worse. It’s good no severe injuries resulted! The Marlies were poking and cheap shotting all night. Our guys did well not being baited into anything else.
    What did Liambis say to draw the misconduct late?
    Is Toronto really that dirty of a team, did we catch you them on a bad nigbt or did their long road trip wear them down?
    Good hustle out there by the Ads, they played well tonight, several guys in the starting line look darn near ready for the next level.

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