The Milwaukee Admirals did a few things in last 4-1 win that hasn’t happened in quite some time. Let’s evaluate.
The Pointless Wolves…
First regulation win against the Chicago Wolves since 4/20/13 in Chicago. If you want to get more technical about it, considering this team was effectively the Peoria Rivermen a season ago, it was a whopping one entire day after that game, 4/21/13 in Peoria. Either way you look at it – a Magnus Hellberg shutout was the factor in the Ads last regulation win over the Wolves.
Austin Watson’s Hat Trick…
The last time a member of the Milwaukee Admirals scored a hat trick was by Juuso Puustinen on 1/25/13 against the Oklahoma City Barons. That night was also a concert night. Puustinen had Brantley Gilbert. Watson had Gavin DeGraw.
For those also wondering when the last hat trick was prior to Puustinen you’ll have to go back to 11/29/11 when Chris Mueller scored three goals and an assist against the Abbotsford Heat.
Three Goals In One Period…
The last time an Admiral scored three goals in a single period of hockey was by Dave Scratchard on 4/9/10. He actually scored four-goals that night – scoring the final three in succession in a span of 12:42 of ice time during the third period. Watson scored all three of his goals from the power-play in a span of 8:54 of ice time in the second period.
Fun Fact, Scratchard’s four-goal game took place on *drum roll* a concert night. It was KC and the Sunshine Band that night.
After the game I was in a full sprint to get my story up – get to and through interviews fast – all before Gavin DeGraw’s concert drowned out the BC with loud noises. In addition, the Admirals were also in “pack up camp” mode with the road trip to Iowa today. I suppose what I’m saying is… this was a quicker interview section than I’d have liked it to be.
I spoke with Dean Evason, Austin Watson, and Simon Moser. Despite the quick interviews – Mathieu Tousignant made sure we had at least one interview bomb on the Roundtable today. …I suspect payback… Here is what everyone had to say following last night’s win.
Dean Evason on the Admirals game-by-game approach:
Evason’s assessment of Watson’s performance:
Evason’s thoughts on Marek Mazanec’s game last night:
Evason provides an update on injuries and more:
Austin Watson discusses his hat trick performance:
Watson talks about the third goal:
Watson on the Teddy Bear toss:
Watson’s thoughts on taking the winning streak into Iowa:
Simon Moser on last night’s win:
Moser describes how he feels since returning from a month-long injury:
Moser on getting healthy just in time for the Playoffs… and a Tousi bomb:
Unfortunately, the audio didn’t really pick up what Tousignant did so I’ll describe it. He walked behind Moser and, as he was speaking, began chanting, “say my name, say my name, say my name.” Seems like there is always a minimum of one interview bomb per game at this point.
“We’ve talked to the group all year about just taking it one game at a time. We’ve had that philosophy. That’s what we do. And we’ll continue to do that and see where we sit at the end of the year.” Dean Evason
“[Austin Watson] has been a very versatile guy for us. We flipped him into the middle tonight with [Francis Wathier] out and conducted himself very well.” Dean Evason
“I talked to [Watson] about going to the wing probably a month ago and his comment was, when he was playing center all year, was that, “The more versatile I can be the better off I am going to be to get to the next level.” He has the right attitude.” Dean Evason
“The game could have flipped around in a hurry. We get three power-play goals and then we give up the shorthander. We probably could have given up two or three other shorthanded goals.” Dean Evason
“Tomorrow you will see a different lineup. It’s a good opportunity for us to see people in different roles – different situations. We’ll see some new faces tomorrow as well.” Dean Evason
“It took me awhile to get into the game yesterday. As long as I play it gets better. Today was already better than yesterday. It’s getting better for the Playoffs. So I’m looking forward for it.” Simon Moser
~Wild: Scouting the Enemy~
With Dean Evason’s quote in mind – think about the potential for tonight’s game to see the possible debut of -at least- Mikko Vainonen on defense for the Milwaukee Admirals.
The Finn joined the team last week after his junior team Kingston (OHL) was eliminated from the playoffs. Since, he has participated in practice, interviewed in the Chatterbox, turned 20-years old, and has patiently awaited a night like tonight for his professional debut.
Another defenseman who could make a professional debut tonight is Kirill Gotovets.
Unlike Vainonen, or Jonathan Diaby for that matter, Gotovets is not a Nashville Predators draft pick. Instead he’s gone from Cornell University, drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2009, traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Philippe Paradis, finished his time in college, and some how found his way with the Admirals after asking the Blackhawks for an opportunity to seek outside opportunities.
Should this happen – the Admirals could see Diaby, Vainonen, and Gotovets all in game action as veterans such as Joe Piskula and Bryan Rodney get a night off. You could well see Joonas Jarvinen, Anthony Bitetto, and Charles-Olivier Roussel pair up with the young blood. And why? Because Iowa Wild that’s why.
The Iowa Wild have a record of 27-35-6-4 (64 points). They will finish dead last in the Midwest Division in their first season since moving from Houston. They are also in a battle with the San Antonio Rampage (67 points) for last place in the Western Conference.
In the Wild’s last ten games they have gone 2-8-0-0 (4 points) including a two-game losing streak. Their goal differential this season is a whopping -60 (161 GF, 221 GA). No team in the AHL has a worse goal differential than the Iowa Wild. To add to this slow moving car crash – the Milwaukee Admirals record against them this season.
Nov. 3 @ Iowa: W, 5-2
Nov. 16 @ Iowa: W, 1-0
Dec. 29 @ Iowa: W, 4-0
Jan. 6 vs. Iowa: W, 4-3 (SO)
Jan. 31 @ Iowa: W, 3-2 (OT)
Feb. 14 vs. Iowa: L, 3-1
Feb. 28 vs. Iowa: W, 9-1
Mar. 12 vs. Iowa: L, 3-2
Apr. 4 vs. Iowa: W, 4-1
The Admirals have gone 7-2-0-0 (14 points) against the Wild this season. If Evason keeps to his word regarding a different lineup, meaning Marek Mazanec doesn’t make all three starts of this weekend’s three-in-three, Scott Darling could make his fourth appearance of the season against the Wild. Darling has won the previous three games he has played against the Wild, stopped 88 of 89 shots on goal, 0.33 GAA, 0.989 SV%, and two shutouts.
One thing worth bringing up before closing: when these two last met – Tousignant was targeted twice by Wild players. Brad Winchester gave him a two handed slash and then tried to jump him. Then Curt Gogol attempted to sucker punch him, threw a stick towards his face, and was suspended one-game by the AHL for his attempt to instigate a fight within the final five-minutes of the game. There could very easily be some spill-over from both of those situations – especially Gogol.
Any more reactions to last night’s game? Comments from the comments? What should we expect out of the Admirals when they play in Iowa tonight? Should the team rest up the veterans or keep the throttle down?