Toronto Takes Game One With Ease, Ads lose 6-2

Bad traffic. Bad bounces. Not the greatest of nights to be in Marek Mazanec’s pads. (Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)

The Admirals lost 6-2 against the Toronto Marlies in Friday night’s playoff opener. The Marlies really dictated much of tonight’s action and had an answer for everything the Admirals threw at them in game one. The Ads will look for a quick turnaround with game two taking place in less than twenty-four hours.

“We thought we were very tentative at the start,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason. “We didn’t have our legs. We didn’t get into the hockey game until we scored the first goal. We thought [Toronto] took the game to us. We have to start the game better tomorrow night.”

There appeared to be a few phantom high sticking minors that occurred in the first period. Brad Ross of the Marlies wiped out on a hit attempt on Anthony Bitetto at the Admirals blueline and flopped into him. That was called for the game’s opening penalty. Then a similar scenario occurred when Jarred Smithson came for a hit on the forecheck against Mathieu Tousignant. With five seconds into the Admirals power-play – Taylor Beck was called for a high stick well away from the puck.

During the ensuing four-on-four the Marlies capitalized for the game’s opening goal. Sam Carrick picked up the puck from behind the net. He took a quick look around him, saw no one was there to defend him except for Marek Mazanec, and took his chances. He carried the puck to the front of the net on a backhander and dragged it past the outstretched leg of a Mazanec for the first goal of this playoff series.

After an interference call against Charles-Olivier Roussel – the Marlies were able to extend their lead early in the second period. Josh Leivo skated to the left wing faceoff circle and wired a wrister off the crossbar and down. The shot beat the block attempt by Joe Piskula and went against the grain of Mazanec to the blocker side to make it 2-0 Marlies.

The Admirals finally found the back of the net courtesy of the Swedes. Calle Jarnkrok entered the offensive zone from the right swing and laid a perfect saucer pass off to Patrick Cehlin who took it first time. The quick shot caught MacIntyre off his angle and made it a 2-1 hockey game.

The Marlies answered back almost instantly. With the Marlies pushing back hard it seemed as if the Admirals were in a panic mode defending. Then the AHL’s top defenseman T.J. Brennan fired a shot from the point that knuckled off in and past Mazanec to restore the Marlies two-goal advantage. The goal came only 1:08 after Cehlin’s at the other end. It simply felt like a sucker punch.

“It was kind of a Keystone Cops there,” said Evason of the quick response goal by Toronto. “Van has it on his tape and the it jumps over Wathier’s stick. You gain the momentum and all of the sudden it shifts right away back. For sure it was the turning point.”

If the end to the second period wasn’t painful enough the start to the third period wasn’t any better. The Admirals won the opening draw for the period but the puck was forced into their zone, the Marlies, buzzed around for nearly one minute, and then Jerry D’Amigo powered a shot past Mazanec to make it 4-1 Marlies.

Needing a serious lifeline – the Admirals tallied on the power-play to draw a goal back. Filip Forsberg smashed a slap shot at ice level and it was underneath the pads of MacIntyre. Not knowing where the puck went, the former-Admiral took a quick turn and actually managed to kick the puck into his own net.

With a late power-play on, the Marlies added two empty netters to finish off the Admirals in game one. Kenny Ryan scored from behind his own net just as Mazanec left to get on the Admirals bench. And, for the heck of it, the Ads went empty net again and Carrick added the Marlies second shorthanded empty netter in a matter of forty-eight seconds.

“It’s frustrating,” said Francis Wathier. “Obviously we don’t want that kind of result. 6-2 doesn’t dictate the type of game we played. We didn’t play bad. I think we have a little bit more in the tank that we can do. That’s going to be playoff hockey. It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be rough. It’s going to be intense every shift. It’s a good lesson for everyone.”

What are your reactions from game one? Was this a blip or a wake up call that this could be a short playoff series for Milwaukee?

11 thoughts on “Toronto Takes Game One With Ease, Ads lose 6-2”

  1. Sorry Mark, I do put some of the blame on the officials. The first 3 Toronto goals were assisted by Referee Jamie Koharski. On goal #3, a Toronto player hit the puck with a stick probably 3 feet over his shoulder. Five seconds later, it was in the Milwaukee goal. That should have been called or the goal should have been disallowed. I have seen better officials in pro wrestling! Toronto had too many men on the ice twice in the third period. One time both guys (the 6th and 7th players) near the bench played the puck. The results were Milwaukee being called for tripping and high sticking respectively. Towards the end of the game, Patrick Cehlin had his helmet knocked off before a faceoff. It flew 10 feet away. No penalty was called on Kevin Marshall. Referee Jarrod Ragusin was a turd in the entire third period. He is learning the wrong things from Koharski.

    Toronto did beat Milwaukee to loose pucks nearly the entire game. They also played better defense than Milwaukee. Scott Ford is too slow for the Marlies wingers. They went by him on the outside at least 3 times. The Admirals needed to shoot the puck more. They missed corners several times on the shots that they took. The Ads could have scored 3 goals in the first period, rather than zero. Yes, they could have played better. Toronto is big and fast. They also hit a lot of Admirals in the head with gloves and sticks behind the play and got away with it.

  2. Toronto hacked slashed and bullied their way through this game and it worked. The Admirals never had an answer. I’m kind of for finding a roster spot for Liambas tomorrow. Hard to grade Mazanec on this one. He’d probably like goal #3 back but the defense did him no favors either.

  3. All of our teams flaws were displayed tonight, and Toronto shoved it up our rear. Our in ability to win draws other than mvg is going to help us lose this series fast. Sissons was getting whipped in the dot all night, in the 2nd he was sent out 3 times in a row lost all 3. Dump and chase only works when you retrieve the puck but thats not what we do when a defensive front in the neutral zone is presented. Special teams were a mess for much of the night the power play spent many times just chasing pucks around the rink. Also not enough pressure on mac means you won’t beat him. Better have a new game plan tomorrow night or this things gonna be over before it started.

  4. The big difference in the game in my opinion was that Toronto finished their checks. No matter what was going on, if a Marlie player was coming at an Admirals player, they hit him – even if the puck was long gone. I think the only Admiral players who finished checks consistently last night was Wathier. Our guys were tentative to start the game, and for the most part didn’t skate at all. I didn’t think we really started “moving” until the third period .

    Two things about Toronto – first, it seemed that for most of their offensive zone attacks, they did the same thing – one man right to the front of the net to create traffic and take away the eyes of the goalie. The second, as Aaron Sims pointed out on the post-game show, was defensively, they pretty much stacked the blue line and did not let us cleanly bring the puck in the zone. Because of that, we just couldn’t control the puck well enough. They “out-gritted” us. If Barry Trotz was our coach, I’m sure he would have had a heart attack by that fact!

  5. Steve’s point about the defensive front put by Toronto is what I feared the team wouldn’t be able to solve and we didn’t. Why when it’s as clear as day what they are doing do we not envoke other techniques of getting around it? Why is coaching not adjusting our play on the fly. Instead of dumping the puck try aggressively checking their players in our zone before they can get back knock one guy down and moving the puck immediately opens a hole up. Or try taking the zone and tossing pucks on net from outside the blue line to force him to make a save or freeze it for an offensive zone draw (which we’d probably lose but whatever). Whatever we decide to go do tonight needs to be different or we’ll be looking at winning 3 straight in their barn which I don’t see us being capable of doing. Also do think starting Darling at all? Maz looked off on several of the goals he let in….. ugh it seems like this is the same old song we hear each year make playoffs then look like crap…..

  6. Frontrowjon, a few points I couldn’t have made better myself. If they don’t come out with a different approach tonight this series is over. Do you not think Toronto is going to try the same thing considering how effective out was last night? Also I definitely think Darling should start tonight. Maybe I am over critical, but I my lino Maz did not look good last night. He looked very tentative and lacking confidence.

    I totally agree that I was going to see something other than an embarrassing first – round exit.

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