Last night the Admirals defeated the Rockford IceHogs 3-2 in front of a jam packed Bradley Center. The win puts the Ads in second place of the Midwest Division as well as fifth place in the Western Conference. The team fighting right behind Milwaukee are the Amtrak Rivals, Chicago Wolves, who are two points back – but were inactive last night.
Plenty of goods to banter about from last night’s contest. Let’s start with this candidate for best Admirals goal of the season from Colton Sissons. To me this play pretty much sums up Sissons. He’s on the penalty kill, intelligently stays tight to the point, keeps his stick active, intercepts the pass to Adam Clendening, burns past him, avoids getting stick checked, and scores shorthanded on Kent Simpson. This is his first professional season of hockey. When he makes multidimensional plays, like that goal, you nearly forget about that.
There were also some interesting things that took place prior to the game. Filip Forsberg was a late scratch due to illness. Charles-Olivier Roussel, who was going to be a scratch, suited up in his place and actually played right wing the entire game rather than his typical defenseman role. In truth, he didn’t play that bad – actually having a near goal scoring chance in the first period from a slicing backhander in front of the net.
There is no telling whether or not Forsberg will be out longer than one game with illness but, good news, reinforcements are coming! Patrick Cehlin made a cameo appearance during last night’s pre-game skate. He participated in the full warm up and looked to be in good form. He spent the latter part of the session taking shots from the left wing face off area – something that tells me he was preparing for Forsberg’s spot on the power-play unit just in case they wanted to use him over Roussel last night. He may well make his return to game action for the first time since early November at some point this weekend.
After the game I had the chance to chat with plenty of upbeat Admirals around the locker room. Along with head coach Dean Evason, I spoke with Mike Liambas, Austin Watson, Mathieu Tousignant, and Zach Budish. Here is what was said after the game.
Dean Evason talks about the fans:
Evason on running this game without Beck or Forsberg:
Evason discusses Patrick Cehlin’s status:
Evason chats up Country Music night:
Mike Liambas speaks about the atmosphere last night:
Liambas’ thoughts on the games ahead:
Austin Watson on breaking a goal slump last night:
Watson discusses reuniting on a line with Miikka Salomaki and Joonas Rask:
Watson’s opinion of last night’s crowd:
Watson on playing the IceHogs two more games this weekend:
Mathieu Tousignant, a lover of all Admirals crowds, talks about last night’s turn out (another Patrick “the translator” Cehlin cameo):
Tousignant talks through his assist on Mark Van Guilder’s game winning goal:
Tousignant describes this series as a preperation for the playoffs:
The next sound bite needs a bit of storytelling so we can all be in the loop. The story of Zach Budish, aka Big Head, began when Joshua Shalla responded to a pre-game tweet of mine.
— josh shalla (@shalls91) January 12, 2014
From there, the Big Head name started surfacing a bit more and more on the Twitterverse from fellow Admiral teammates.
— Taylor Beck (@taybeckone9) January 17, 2014
As I was waiting for Tousignant to turn up for his post-game interview, Austin Watson shouted to me saying that I should interview Budish. Considering I’m game for such things, and Budish returned to the line up for the first time in seven games, I played along – and asked him, “why are you known as Big Head?” Before you knew it, players got around him and he explained his nickname – something that I hope this post makes stick for good.
Zach Budish and the Big Head nickname:
In that audio you may have also heard the likes of Magnus Hellberg, Anthony Bitetto, Watson, and more chirping in. Remember, if this names sticks Zach – it’s your own fault.
Any comments from last night’s audio? What are some of your favorite athlete nicknames? How do you feel the team will fair today on the road in Rockford? Will Patrick Cehlin make his return and, if so, how do you feel he will perform? When Cehlin does return – who sits and who possibly heads to Cincinnati to make room? What players would you pair Cehlin with?