The Admirals delivered just the right response from a team that had lost two-in-a-row last night. The had a strong start. The defense gave the Chicago Wolves no room to breath and get their offense rolling. You might say, well – the Wolves had those power-plays. But what did they really do from them? The Admirals penalty killing unit was perfect last night and they are ranked fifth in the AHL.
What may have been lost in the Rich Clune frenzy last night were these two things.
(1) Austin Watson recorded his 50th career AHL goal last night. He has 8 goals on this young season already from 17 games. He has improved his scoring rate with each season as an Admiral: 2012-13, 37 points (20 goals, 17 assists)… 2013-14, 46 points (22 goals, 24 assists). At the rate in which he is motoring on this season, a career best 0.65 points per game, he should continue with personal bests for scoring.
(2) Marek Mazanec was handed the net in a big game against a team seated higher than the Admirals in the division and he responded big time. It was his first win of the season since he started off the campaign with wins in his first 5 starts. He had lost 4 games consecutively and needed to rebound just as the Admirals did after the end to the weekend. Mazanec’s work on the penalty kill was solid and, best of all from him, he hardly coughed up rebounds. The only goal that was scored on him came from a net-front redirect by Dmitrij Jaškin. He could have had a shutout last night. He, and the defense in front of him, were outstanding and it allowed the offense to keep the motor running despite the odd penalty being taken here and there. Simply put. Two goalies. One net. One good problem to have.
After the game I had the chance to speak with Dean Evason, Rich Clune, Marek Mazanec, and Austin Watson. Here is what they all had to say following the Admirals 4-1 over the Chicago Wolves.
Dean Evason on the performance of his goaltender:
Evason describes the importance of Miikka Salomaki‘s goal:
Evason on Clune scoring a goal:
Evason talks about the competitiveness between the Ads and Wolves:
Evason on the Ads capitalizing from breakaway chances:
Evason talks about Patrick Cehlin‘s return to the ice in the ECHL:
Evason on the aggressive start for the Admirals:
Rich Clune talks about getting a breakaway:
Clune on the Chicago Wolves:
Clune on the Wolves, continued:
Marek Mazanec is relieved:
Mazanec on his night in net:
Mazanec talks about the Admirals penalty kill work:
Mazanec on the empty net attack from the Wolves and his defense’s response:
Austin Watson describes the Admirals performance:
Watson on the Admirals penalty kill:
Watson talks about Mazanec’s game in net:
Watson talks about his chemistry with Mark Van Guilder:
Watson on his goal scoring track record as a winger since last season:
Comments from the comments? Do you fear that what Rich Clune said could backfire or put targets on players as the Amtrak Rivalry shakes out the rest of this season? To echo something Dean Evason once posed… is having two solid goaltenders really a good problem to have?