Goaltending Dual Comes Up Short

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It was all about Petr Mrazek and Scott Darling in this one. Both goalies earned 29-save shutouts in a game that creeped along scoreless all the way until the shootout. (Photo Credit to @griffinshockey on Twitter)

The Milwaukee Admirals lost 1-0 in a shootout against the Grand Rapids Griffins Sunday afternoon.

This game was a thriller and all about goaltending. The game stormed on through regulation and overtime without a goal – needing a shootout to find the break through. Both starting goalies, Scott Darling and Petr Mrazek, earned themselves 29-save shutouts for their efforts in this game. It wasn’t until Martin Frk in the first round of the shootout until a puck trickled past the goal line. These goalies were that good today.

In the shootout there were some great goals scored. It’s always cheeky to pull off five hole dekes on the shootout and the Admirals were able to do it twice on Mrazek. Both Mathieu Tousignant and Taylor Beck scored with strikes through the fivehole – and the Admirals found themselves even at 3-3 entering the fifth and final round of the shootout. Simon Moser, only two games into the flow of things state-side since returning from the Olympics, was stopped by Mrazek’s blocker – giving Brendan Evans a chance to seal it. Darling squared him up – but Evans was able to win it for the Griffins in the shootout.

This was a phenomenal game. Both the Admirals and Griffins tend to play very tight, structured, dump and chase, forechecking games. Today things were a bit open throttle and it came down to quality goaltending to disrupt odd-man rushes and five-on-three power-play situations.

Both teams went  0/5 on the power-play. The Admirals had two chances of five-on-three power-plays – one being 1:17 long – another being around 0:24 seconds. The Griffins also had their chance on a two-man advantage but Mark Van Guilder’s work killed it off and nearly found Austin Watson, fresh from the box, for a one-timer. Again, the goalies were there to deny quality chances – time and time again.

The shootout loss means the Admirals have now gone winless in their last four games. They do earn a point today – but it is a loss nonetheless. It is their longest losing skid of the entire season. I must say though, between yesterday and today, there are plenty of good things for the team to take out of these defeats moving forward. I feel the results are soon to follow.

What are your thoughts from today’s game? Are games like this a reason why you’d rather see the game go on or do you prefer it finishing in a shootout? How do you feel about Scott Darling moving forward? Is Darling the starter over Mazanec?

7 thoughts on “Goaltending Dual Comes Up Short”

  1. I am really hoping that the Griffins YouTube channel, or elsewhere, provides some video highlights of this one. Both goalies were making fantastic saves throughout the game. It really was a fun one despite the end result.

  2. Have to get production from the power-play. Huge reason why there struggling for points. In this league just like the NHL you have to make a team pay for taking penalties.

  3. I will be quite surprised if Darling doesn’t attract the attention of some NHL teams over the offseason. I think he has been very good this season and another AHL season like this one and he might find himself given a shot at a few games in the big league. Selfishly I just really hope that we still have him in Milwaukee next season. But good for him if he gets a two-way deal from any team.

  4. Fan in the Falls: I think Darling, in his first real run in the AHL with an in-season goaltending coach, has deserved an AHL deal or even a two-way NHL deal next season. I’d love to see him stay in Milwaukee as well. The way Nashville is stacked at the goaltending position – who knows! I could easily see them try to use Mazanec as trade bait and keep Darling on in his stead. It’d be a way to net something in a trade and save money Maz vs. Darling on the books. That NHL Trade Deadline still has me on-edge the way Nashville is right now.

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