Wolves Comeback to Bite Admirals in SO; 4-3

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Playing past regulation has looked and felt a lot like this all season for the Milwaukee Admirals. (Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

The Admirals lost 4-3 in a shootout against the Chicago Wolves Sunday afternoon. The Admirals held a two-goal lead twice only to see them fall in the shootout to their Amtrak Rivals.

The Admirals were able to jump on the board first after a great solo effort from Miikka Salomaki. In his return to the ice after his match penalty on Friday, he was able to fly in off of the right wing wall, put a shot on Jake Allen, skated around David Shields, and popped in his own rebound. It was a great showcase of Salomaki’s relentless hustle. That goes down as his twelfth goal of the season.

In the second period the Admirals tallied for a power-play goal with two great passes setting it all up. Marek Mazanec, yes. Marek Mazanec with a pin-point saucer pass from his goal crease all the way to Filip Forsberg on the blue line. The great feed caught the Wolves as they were changing and set Forsberg into the zone with plenty of time to operate with. He patiently waited towards the left wing faceoff circle, found Patrick Cehlin on the opposite wing, passed through traffic, and it was a tap in for Cehlin on the power-play. It’s Cehlin’s fourth goal of the season.

As the period crawled to the end, both teams decided to engage each other in a “who can have the ugliest power-play” contest. The Wolves had a brief five-on-three chance – that they killed off themselves on a missed shot that cleared the zone. Then the Admirals rallied on the second half of that chance – basically controlling the puck possession while killing off the penalty.

The Wolves did one better when the Admirals went to the power-play at the end of the second period. The Ads had a race down the slot at one end, missed a scoring chance, and then conceded a two-on-one shorthanded break down at the other end. Taylor Chorney was able to get his pass right to the tape of Nathan Longpre – who one-touched it over Mazanec’s left pad for his fifth goal of the season.

Just moments after that Longpre has a clean shorthanded breakaway. His shot missed high and wide to the glove side of Mazanec. In total, the Admirals have given up ten shorthanded goals this season. All of last season they only conceded five shorties.

The Admirals were able to restore their two-goal lead in the third period after a rebound effort from Kevin Henderson. Mathieu Tousignant’s net front shot stayed low to the ice and hit off of Allen’s pads. The puck spilled down the slot and right to Henderson who cleaned up the garbage for his sixth goal of the season.

Directly after the goal from Henderson the Wolves fired a beautiful pass through the Admirals that sent Keith Aucoin behind a Mike Liambas and Joonas Jarvinen. Liambas had a slash on his arm. Jarvinen practically tackled him. The referees rightly called for a penalty shot – and Aucoin delivered with a soft shot that went through the five-hole of Mazanec.

Of the two previous goals allowed by Mazanec – it’s hard to really fault him. Shorthanded odd-man break. Penalty shot. The one he would probably lost like to have back came on goal number three when the Wolves went wing to wing and saw Cade Fairchild beat him moving to the far post. The game was equalized from Fairchild’s second goal of the season – and it remained 3-3 all the way through regulation and overtime.

When it came to the shootout the Admirals went with: Salomaki, Saponari, Cehlin, and Beck… Wolves: Rattie, Aucoin, Jaskin, Wannstrom, and Cracknell. If you couldn’t tell, the Admirals didn’t use as many skaters because the Wolves buried the game with shootout goals from Wannstrom and Cracknell. The Admirals failed to convert a single goal from the shootout.

The Admirals have now played in sixteen games that have gone to overtime or further. No team in the AHL has lost more time in overtime than the Admirals – who have lost six times. In the shootout, the Ads have now lost five times out of eight opportunities. Playing past regulation has been a very rough area for the team all season long – and it continued again tonight.

Ramblings: Colton Sissons returned to the Milwaukee Admirals after his late afternoon recall to the Nashville Predators yesterday. Bryan Rodney was a scratch for the third straight game due to personal reasons.

What are your thoughts from this game? What needs to be addressed over the AHL All Star break for the team to comeback strong next weekend?

7 thoughts on “Wolves Comeback to Bite Admirals in SO; 4-3”

  1. Video Highlights when they get uploaded. Chatterbox tomorrow morning will feature Dean Evason, Kevin Henderson, and Colton Sissons.

    Locker Room Roundup: Everyone just seems happy that they can get some rest these next few days. I think there is more mental fatigue than physical fatigue and it rolled into Friday’s game – and the moment the Wolves scored shorthanded today.

  2. The Admiral’s have to become a harder team to play against when they have the lead. Disappointing lead blowing game today and weekend . 1 Point .

    Two good crowds ,,, Nice Job John ,Nate ,Brian and the Boys …

  3. MVP of the week is Aaron Sims . Who called 5 hockey games in 5 days in 3 different states.

    GREAT JOB Aaron !!!!! I hope a NHL gig becomes a permanent job for you soon.

  4. I don’t know what was worse, a shot going of the post in the final seconds of overtime as well as our final shooter in the shootout, or Jake Allen getting #1 star of the game. Who picked that?

  5. Right now the Admirals are still in playoff position. They have been struggling with the overtime/shootout all season and lately allowing the opponents to force the extra session. I mentioned to a couple of people at today’s games that this is their playoff spot to lose.

  6. The Admirals need to finish better. They missed the goal on some quality scoring chances. Two came at the end of OT. I thought they had the game won twice in 15 seconds.

  7. AdsFan88, I could not agree more on your Allen statement. There will be a lot of games this year where Allen will be the first star, perhaps even in the NHL after the trade deadline, but tonight was NOT one of them. Cade Fairchild was very good for Chicago, so was Keith Aucoin and Sebastian Wannstrom. I would have picked any those three over Allen on Sunday. Overall, goaltenders get way too much credit for winning games, and often way too much credit for losing them. I thought Mazanec was far better.

    Also, I agree with the assessment that Milwaukee needs to continue work on learning to finish games, but yesterday’s game was also a hard lesson about learning how to win games that maybe you shouldn’t. Chicago was the better team overall on Sunday despite a slow first period. Milwaukee suffered through extended periods of play in their own zone in both the second and third.

    However, the two points were there to steal yesterday. Maz was awesome (though he didn’t say it, all of the odd man rushes must have drove coach Evason crazy), and Milwaukee had a pair of frustratingly close point blank chances for an overtime winner in the final minute.

    Though the standings don’t mean too, too much at this point with 29 games to go, Sunday’s loss was a huge swing in points. Had Milwaukee won in regulation (after being up 3-1 in the third period):

    Standings:
    5th-Chicago: 26-17-3-2, 57 points
    6th-Milwaukee 23-14-6-4, 56 points.

    In OT (or a basically in a shootout):
    5th-Chicago: 26-16-4-2, 58 points
    6th-Milwaukee: 23-14-6-4, 56 points.

    Instead of current:
    5th-Chicago 27-16-3-2, 59 points
    6th-Milwaukee 22-14-6-5, 55 points.

    Amazing what a difference that would have made. Pencil this game on your schedule if the Admirals are going to Chicago for a playoff series this spring and not playing the Wolves at their BMO Harris Bradley Center home.

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