The Admirals won 4-2 against the Hamilton Bulldogs Wednesday night. The game-winning goal came in the third period from Charles-Olivier Roussel – his first career AHL goal. A long range empty netter from Colton Sissons, fresh off of his first stint in the NHL, sealed the deal on an Ads victory in regulation.
After a high-tempo rush into the Admirals zone, Joonas Jarvinen was called for a holding-the-stick penalty for the game’s opening power-play chance. The result? An opening goal for the Bulldogs. Defenseman Greg Pateryn smashed a slap shot from the point that whizzed through bodies and beat Marek Mazanec to the glove-side. From the looks of the goal – Mazanec never saw that puck. The shot was to the glove-side and he didn’t even move his glove. The goal for Pateryn was his ninth of the season.
The Admirals responded just five-minutes after the Bulldogs opening goal in the first period. After a shot was tossed on Robert Mayer’s net – he lost the puck to his blocker-side. Mark Van Guilder was Johnny on the spot to pop in the loose puck and tie the game at 1-1 with his ninth-goal of the season.
In the second period we had a scrap between Mathieu Tousignant and Nathan McIver. If you’re an Admirals fan – you turned away. If you were a Bulldogs fan or liked the film Fight Club – you watched. Let’s just say Tousignant was given the business. My fight card reads: McIver, 10. Tousignant, 8.
Austin Watson broke the deadlock later on in the second period for his twelfth goal of the season. A great pass from Anthony Bitetto picked out Watson who snuck behind the Bulldogs defense. Watson has an extra step, mini-break, and fired a wrister to the low glove of Mayer for the goal.
The second period and start of the third period feature plenty of minor penalty calls. During this stretch of power-play, four-on-four, penalty kill, repeat… the Bulldogs scored from a four-on-four situation to equalize in the third period. Gabriel Dumont’s wrist shot snuck past Mazanec to make it a 2-2 hockey game. On the play, Austin Watson was attempting to make a flying poke check on Dumont – and his speed carried him towards the end boards, where he collided with a Bulldogs forward, turned, and impacted the end boards knee first. It was a loud impact and he was slow to leave the ice. He did, however, make a return to the game – something that could not be said of Joonas Rask who also left the game in the third period after a shoulder injury.
Midway through the third period the Admirals cashed in on a power-play. Charles-Olivier Roussel’s shot from the point took a big deflection from Dumont – who was playing directly on Roussel’s point spot. The puck knuckled and flew through Mayer for Roussel’s first career AHL goal.
With the Bulldogs net empty and the extra attacker on – Colton Sissons sealed the game from a long rang shot from his own zone for his seventeenth-goal of the season. Joe Piskula chipped the puck forward to him and, perhaps just trying to clear the zone, Sissons snapped at the puck – which skipped on down the ice and in.
Ramblings: Tonight’s lone scratch was defenseman Bryan Rodney for personal reasons. From Twitter chatter I received on him in the last week or so it sounded like he was close to becoming a dad. If that’s the reasoning behind the scratch – congratulations yo the Rodney family! Scott Ford played in game number 341 tonight as an Admiral – giving him sole possession of ninth all-time for games played in team history. Mark Van Guilder also moved up on the games played list. Van Guilder is now tied for fourth place in the AHL history of the team, with former captain Nolan Yonkman, with 283 games played as an Admiral.
What are your thoughts from tonight’s game? How well has Roussel played this season and was tonight’s goal a long time coming? If both Watson and Rask are hurt badly enough to miss Friday night’s game – what course of action takes place?