Amtrak Thrills Continue; Ads win 3-2 in OT

The Admirals won 3-2 in overtime on the road against the Chicago Wolves Saturday night. Austin Watson scored the game-winner with twenty-two seconds remaining in OT to end the Admirals three-game losing streak. Hannu Toivonen made his first start of the season for the Ads and made twenty-eight saves in the OT win. 

The Admirals were able to score the opener from a rare even-strength goal by Filip Forsberg. Austin Watson did the dirty work and fired a shot off of Matt Climie’s pads – spilling the puck into the net front presence of Forsberg. It’s Forsberg’s eighth goal of the season with the Admirals and his third scored from even-strength play.

Much like last night’s contest against the Iowa Wild, the opponent quickly flipped the script seconds after an Admirals goal for one of their own. A mere thirty-one seconds after Forsberg’s opening goal a shot from Ty Rattie ricocheted off some bodies in front of Ads netminder Hannu Toivonen. The puck, which squeaked past Toivonen, was given a tap in from Shane Harper his seventh goal of the season.

We did have a quasi-fight between Mathieu Tousignant and Mark Cundari. I would say this was slightly like last night’s bout for Mike Liambas. The real victor would be the helmets – if anything. It was quick and nothing really seemed to land flush. Helmets, 1. Players, 0.

The Wolves took the lead in the second period off of a beautiful play by Ty Rattie. Vinny Saponari deflected a point shot and Rattie, from the left wing faceoff circle, smashed it baseball-style. The midair shot has enough juice on it to beat Toivonen to make it a 2-1 game. It was Rattie’s nineteenth goal of the season – and undoubtedly his best this season.

Five minutes later the Ads tied things up 2-2 from an odd man rush. Colton Sissons and Vinny Saponari broke into the zone on a two-on-one. Saponari passed over to Sissons whose shot hit crossbar and down for his eighteenth goal of the season.

For the fifth time in seven contests of this season’s Amtrak Rivalry – we headed into overtime. In those previous contests the Admirals had only won a single contest – Nov. 22, 3-2 (SO). With just twenty-two seconds remaining in overtime Austin Watson won it with a blind backhanded shot to the front of the net that took a deflection off a defenseman’s skate and past Climie near post. It’s Watson’s thirteenth goal of the season – and perhaps one that could jump start the Ads. The win tonight ended a three-game losing streak.

Ramblings: Hannu Toivonen made his first start as an Admiral tonight, first appearance in net since subbing in for Magnus Hellberg in San Antonio on Jan.16 (stopped four of six in a shootout loss – where he faced no shots in regulation or overtime), first start since Jan. 12 with the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL (a thirty-three save shutout), and first AHL start since Apr. 10, 2011 with Rockford in Chicago (a thirty-seven save overtime win). Anthony Bitetto was a healthy scratch tonight. Scott Darling made his second start in as many days and won again. Darling made 27 saves in a 5-2 Cyclones win.

Thoughts from tonight’s game? What do you make of Hannu Toivonen’s performance tonight? Is this the sort of a game that can give the Ads a boost moving forward?

5 thoughts on “Amtrak Thrills Continue; Ads win 3-2 in OT”

  1. mazanec last three starts he has let in 3 goals in each start having somebody else in goal helped tonight with hannu finally getting a chance to start

  2. Though I can’t claim to know coach Dean Evason was thinking, I kind of wonder if this was a message sending start for the Admirals, who have been relying on their stellar goaltending in recent games to get points. Sometimes goalies get pulled, not because they are playing bad, but to make a point to the players in front of them. Aka, start playing better in your own zone because the team’s best goalie isn’t always going to be there to bail you out. That’s purely speculation, of course.

    But I do think Toivo deserved a start. I haven’t seen practice in recent weeks, but in press settings Evason always brings up the fact of how well he is playing in practice.

    A big win for sure, just too bad it wasn’t a clean two points against a team Milwaukee is chasing.

  3. I didn’t watch or listen to the game, but from the 4 minute video from the Wolves, Toivo looked a little shaky. Hopefully those were just the “highlights” for the Wolves and not how he looked for the whole game?

  4. From what I could see from my seats (when there were 40 school kids standing and holding signs in front of us) Toivo looked alright for his first start in god knows how long he was obviously nervous. It was like he thought “oh shit oh shit okay good got it” when he made a save. I was not comfortable at all towards the end and in OT knowing his lack of experience this season. I went in to the game prepared for him to blow it and he pleasantly surprised me. I believe the shots on goal were pretty even between the two teams so I think that says something about his play last night. That’s just my opinion though. I don’t claim to be anywhere near a hockey expert :)

  5. I like Jason’s theory. I didn’t listen to the game- for those who followed how did we look in our zone last night compared to the previous weeks? I’m still looking forward the game we’re able to out shoot our opponent.

    also- glad you’re feeling better Lavender

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