The Admirals won 4-1 against the Iowa Wild Friday night. It is the Ads seventh win from nine contests against the Wild this season. Taylor Beck scored two goals in front of another calm performance in net by Scott Darling – who picked up his twelfth win of the season.
“We talked tonight about the games we’ve played against Iowa and they’re always intense games as this one was,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason. “We knew that they didn’t have their full lineup. They had ATOs and PTOs. They outworked us for a lot of that hockey game. We were very fortunate to come away with that win.”
After a solid forecheck by the Wild, the Admirals cleared the zone and looked for a line change – all except for Taylor Beck. Once he had the puck on his tape Beck was attempting to drive deep into the zone while the Ads line change took place behind him. He carried on with speed through the right wing and roofed a wrist shot over the blocker of Johan Gustafsson to get the game’s opener and his fifteenth goal of the season.
In the second period the Admirals extended their advantage with a power-play goal from Francis Wathier. The play was all set up with patience from Vinny Saponari in the left wing faceoff circle. Saponari slowly creeped in on goal, gave a look towards Gustafsson, but passed to the opposite wing for a one-timer by Wathier that blasted the net for his eighth goal of the season – and his third since joining the Admirals from the Texas Stars.
The Wild finally solved Scott Darling – only taking three games and 155:41 worth of ice time to do so. The Admirals were working hard in attack and the Wild’s puck clearance went deep into the defensive zone. The puck had some bounce to it and it trapped the Admirals on the walls as they tried to regain control. Zach Phillips eventually took advantage of the bad bounces and scored his twelfth goal of the season to get the Wild on the board for the first time against Darling all season.
Then we had a scrap between Mike Liambas and Corbin Baldwin. It was the third time the two have dropped the gloves against each other this season – and this one was a marathon. Liambas was chirping Baldwin the entire bout and each landed some hard shots. I call this one even in my fight card. Give them both tens for round number three.
Patrick Cehlin earned a late penalty with 1:58 remaining in the second period after a surge to the net. For the second time in the frame the Ads cashed in from the power-play – and again benefited from a patient primary assist. Bryan Rodney and Beck were working the point and it was Beck that kept the attention of everyone as he worked towards the net. He passed over to a wide open Filip Forsberg who had an even more wide open net to shoot on. It was Forsberg’s twelfth goal of the season – half of which have come from the power-play.
“Filip’s goal at the end with ten seconds left was huge going into the dressing room and into the third period,” said Taylor Beck of the team’s power-play tonight. “The power-play has been working for us lately and hopefully it continues.”
Beck picked up his second goal of the game in the third period to make it a 4-1 game. The puck flicked off of Wathier’s skate in front of the net a came out towards center point to Rodney. The veteran d-man pushed on to Beck for a one-timer – resulting in goal number sixteen of his season.
It’s also worth noting as the third period dragged on so did Iowa tempers. Former-Admiral Brad Winchester must have had enough of the Tousignant chatter and snapped. He tried to engage him, Tousignant declined, and Winchester gave him a two handed slash low before trying to get after him. It ended Winchester’s night and gave the Admirals a four-minute power-play.
“I don’t know what happened,” said Mathieu Tousignant after the game. “That’s a little bit of my game. I need to get under the other team’s skin. That’s what I did tonight.”
Things didn’t end there either. With 1:09 remaining in the game Curt Gogol attempted to sucker punch Tousignant from behind – and actually tosses his stick up at him after missing. This created a small scrum with the end result being seventeen minutes worth of penalties assessed against Gogol. Hey, he got his wish by getting out of the game early right?
“They took two huge penalties against me in the third and that put the game away I think,” said Tousignant.
Darling, who had Tuesday’s thirty-six save shutout against the Chicago Wolves, responded with another victory tonight. He stopped twenty-three of twenty-four shots on goal en route to his twelfth win of the season. In his last five starts he has now won four of them – with the lone loss coming in a shootout against the Utica Comets.
Ramblings: Joonas Jarvinen returned to the lineup tonight after missing thirteen games due to an upper body injury. His last game was played on 2/28/14 against these very same Iowa Wild – he scored two goals and had nine penalty minutes. Mark Van Guilder missed tonight’s game with a lower-body injury. With his start tonight for the Milwaukee Admirals – Joe Pendenza made his professional hockey debut.
Thoughts on tonight’s game? Who stood out the most for you in this game? Did you like the team’s lack of response to the Wild’s late game tactics?