The Admirals lost 4-1 against the Chicago Wolves Saturday night in Rosemont. This game was level after two periods of play – but the Wolves with a power-play goal and two empty netters finished off the Ads in the third period.
This was the first game in the Amtrak Rivalry this season that didn’t finish as a one goal game. It did however continue the Wolves run of not dropping a point against the Admirals. The Wolves are now 7-0-1-2 (17 points) this season against the Ads. The win also clinched a playoff spot for the Wolves.
The last time these two met a puck didn’t cross the goal line until the bottom of round one in the shootout. Tonight it took only 2:06 of ice time. Pat Cannone was stationed on the left wing faceoff circle and saw Jani Hakanpaa racing in from the point. He teed him up perfectly and Hakanpaa beat Scott Darling for his fourth goal of the season.
In the second period the Admirals were able to equalize thanks to the pace of Joonas Rask. The play all starts with e Scott Valentine clearance attempt from the Ads defensive zone. It chipped down the ice and towards Jake Allen. Rask hustled all the way through neutral ice, around Hakanpaa, and took the puck forehand to backhand past Allen for his fourth goal of the season.
Then a major missed opportunity. While throwing the puck out of the Ads zone, Scott Ford was leveled into the boards by Eric Selleck. Ford remained down after the hit and favored his right leg. Selleck was given a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct.
With a full five minutes worth of nonstop “score at will” power-play in the bank – the Admirals hardly sustained any pressure in attack. If anything, it was the Wolves penalty kill that forced Darling into making multiple saves from quality scoring chances. It was a power-play that looked as sloppy as sloppy gets without getting burned for poor passes. The Ads were fortunate to not concede a shorthanded goal – something they had done three times to the Wolves prior to this game.
After a too many men on the ice penalty from the Admirals – the Wolves scored their second power-play goal against the Ads from their forty-first chance this season. Derek Nesbitt’s slap shot from the right wing evaded a screen by Adam Cracknell and trickled through the legs of Darling and past the goal line. It was Nesbitt’s first goal as a member of the Wolves since joining from San Antonio Rampage – he has twelve goes overall this season.
Thoughts from tonight’s game? What was the issue tonight with the Admirals power-play? Was the lack of a power-play goal from the five minute major for boarding the difference maker tonight?