The Admirals lost 3-2 in a shootout on the road against the Charlotte Checkers Sunday afternoon. Drew MacIntyre came up huge against his old team yet again as he made thirty-nine saves in net for the Checkers including all three shootout attempts to give the Admirals their second loss inside twenty-four hours.
The Admirals scored the opener late in a first period they dominated. Anthony Bitetto hit Mark Van Guilder on a stretch pass to send him loose into the attacking zone. Van Guilder then passed off to his left for Triston Grant to wired a shot through Drew MacIntyre for his first goal of the season. The Admirals outshot the Checkers 16-5 in the opening frame.
Yesterday’s second period marked the beginning of a lot of insanity. Today’s was a bit more composed. The Checkers were able to equalize early on in the period from Brock McGinn’s fifth goal of the season. Rasmus Rissanen’s initial shot from the point was blocked down by bodies out in front of Marek Mazanec. McGinn was able to pick up the loose puck and wire a rising shot up and over Mazanec to make it 1-1.
In the closing stages of the second period the Admirals were able to punish the Checkers on a five-on-three power-play. I don’t know what happened in the build up to these games against the Checkers but this weekend’s power-play passing by the Admirals has been stunning to watch. Lightning fast passing from Brendan Leipsic to Miikka Salomaki to Colton Sissons resulted in the latter’s sixth goal of the season. All six points that Sissons has on this season have been scored from goals. At this time last season he had seven goals and seven assists.
Midway through the third period the Checkers leveled the game at 2-2. Justin Shugg’s shot on the right wing took a few deflections with Phil Di Giuseppe and AJ Jenks crashing the net. It would be Jenks getting the crucial last touch past Mazanec for his second goal of the season.
The game would last all the way to a shootout. The lone man on the mark in the shootout would be the Checkers’ right winger Shugg who pumped forehand and switched to the backhander to beat Mazanec on the glove-side. It is the first time all season that the Checkers have recorded back-to-back wins.
While today’s result may have only yielded a point for the Admirals – give the credit where it belongs in-between the pipes for the Charlotte Checkers today, Drew MacIntyre. The former-Admiral was sensational in the game and stopped 39/41 shots including all three shootout attempts. If it was anyone else in net for the Checkers today, outside of perhaps Pekka Rinne, this game is a runaway for the Admirals.
Ramblings: Today’s scratches included Joe Pendenza and Jonathan Diaby. With the secondary assist on the opening goal – Anthony Bitetto is now on a five-game point streak. His career best point streak was recorded last season at six-games.
Thoughts from this weekend’s games? Are these bad losses for the Admirals or simply better wins by the Checkers? What will it take for the Admirals to get back into the win column this coming week?