The Admirals lost 3-2 against the Iowa Wild Wednesday night. The visitors jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead and were able to defend it from there on out – despite goals from Miikka Salomaki and Joe Piskula. The loss for the Admirals ends a four-game winning streak.
“[The Wild] played with desperation,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason. “They started the game the right way. We did not start the game the right way. We were not ready to play that game and that is on us.”
There is no secret that the Wild did not want a repeat of their last encounter in Milwaukee. They were able to deny the Admirals a hot start – and much more. They skated off after the first period with a 3-0 lead.
With a four-on-four situation, the Wild were able to get numbers on Charles-Olivier Roussel behind his own net and create a turnover that spilled out to the glove side of Marek Mazanec. Brett Bulmer’s initial shot attempted wasn’t doing – but his follow up effort, from his belly, elevated over Mazanec’s blocker and in for his eleventh goal of the season.
Then came the first of two power-play goals by the Wild in the first period. Both goals were rather identical. The goal from Zack Phillips, his eleventh of the season, was scored on Mazanec’s glove side following a wing-to-wing pass by Brad Winchester.
Their next power-play goal was the same story. It was a wing-to-wing pass that finished on Mazanec’s glove side. Kris Foucault set up Stephane Veilleux’s fifth goal of the season to make it a 3-0 first period lead for the Wild.
“We didn’t have desperation,” said Evason. “Is it because we scored all these goals as of late and all of the sudden we think we’re goal scorers? We tried to talk to them about simplifying our game and doing what we do but I don’t know. We’ll address it tomorrow. We’ll watch the tape. We didn’t play a fast hockey game tonight and they did.”
The Admirals were able to get on the board in the second period after a hope and a prayer shot from Miikka Salomaki. The puck was skipping into the left wing corner and Salomaki instantly tossed the puck on net from the red line – almost the Potawatomi graphic outside the trapezoid. John Curry was just getting back in net and the puck beat him to the blocker-side post and in for Salomaki’s fifteenth goal of the season.
In the third period the Admirals were able to make it a one goal game on the strength of a Joe Piskula bomb from the blue line. The Ads were able to win an in-zone face off – Piskula picked up the puck – waited for a shooting lane to open up – and blammo. He was able to zip a shot glove side of Gustafsson for his third goal of the season.
With 1:57 remaining in the game the Ads had a late power-play following a delay of game penalty by Marc Hagel. The pressure throughout the period was great from the Ads, owning the shots on goal in the frame 16-3, but the Wild defense was that much better.
With the man-advantage. With the net empty and the extra attacker on. The Admirals were just not able to get that final goal to force overtime. The Wild escaped the late pressure from the Ads to win 3-2 – holding on to that first period surge – and ending the four-game winning streak for Milwaukee.
“We’ve had a lot of success, as of late, against them on the power-play,” said Taylor Beck. “So, whether they learned from it a little bit and did some things different, we had good looks. I don’t think we can be too upset with the looks that we had it is just cashing in a bit more.”
Ramblings: Zach Budish was called up just prior to tonight’s game. He played on a line with Francis Wathier centered by Mark Van Guilder. Tonight’s scratches were all due to injury: Patrick Cehlin (upper body), Simon Moser (upper body), Joonas Jarvinen (upper body), and Magnus Hellberg (lower body).
Thoughts from tonight’s game? Where was the energy in the first period for the Admirals? Is the lack of Colton Sissons something that heavily detracts from what this team did during the four-game winning streak?