The Admirals lost 5-1 on the road against the Chicago Wolves Saturday night. It is the Admirals first road defeat of the season. Despite an early goal from Mark Van Guilder, the Wolves grabbed this game by the horns around the halfway point of the first period and never let go.
The Admirals were able to get on the board early on the road tonight. Anthony Bitetto’s attempted stretch pass for Mark Van Guilder cleared all the way to the end boards. Due to how fast the Bitetto pass was, it bounced off the end boards and right out to Van Guilder before starting netminder Jordan Binnington could go out and play the puck. Van Guilder’s shot went through the glove of Binnington and in for his second goal of the season.
It wasn’t until the midway point in the first period before the Wolves really started to come alive. Defenseman Petteri Lindbohm fired a writer that had eyes and got through Marek Mazanec for his second goal of the season. Moments later, Yannick Veilleux whipped a shot from the slot past Mazanec for his third goal of the season to give the Wolves their first lead over the Admirals this season.
Chicago’s pace kept surging in the second period. They scored a mere thirty-eight seconds into the frame after Jake Chelios’ one-timed effort from the far left blue line was redirected by Jeremy Welsh. Mazanec really had no chance with Welsh right on his doorstep. It goes down as his fourth goal of the season.
The lone bright spot for the Admirals went bust in the third period when their perfect penalty killing performance finally conceded a goal. Shane Harper was able to take the puck from a neutral ice faceoff, enter into the attacking zone, fire, and ring a shot off the post and in. It was the first power-play goal from five chances for the Wolves. It’s Harper’s third goal of the season.
With well over two minutes remaining – Mazanec was brought to the bench to bring on an extra attacker. The final rally basically summed this game up. There wasn’t a lot of offense from the Admirals. There wasn’t a clean shooting lane. And, literally tenths of a second before the final horn sounded, Welsh scored on the empty net to make it a 5-1 final.
Ramblings: Tonight’s scratches for the Admirals included Pontus Aberg, Jimmy Oligny, Mike Liambas, and Patrick Cehlin. Aberg was injured in Wednesday night’s game after a collision with Viktor Stalberg. Tonight was Rich Clune’s first AHL game since 1/11/13 when he was a member of the Manchester Monarchs.
Thoughts from tonight’s game? What has happened to the Admirals offense these recent games? Should forward lines get shaken up? Can they rebound tomorrow afternoon?