The Admirals lost 5-3 against the Oklahoma City Barons Saturday night. The word of the night is streak because it is now a four-game losing streak for the Admirals and a ten-game point streak for the Barons – including an eight-game winning streak.
“There will be positives to draw from,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason. “We talk all the time about learning from our adverse situations but we’ll draw some positives from tonight’s game.”
It was the Barons that scored the opening goal against the grain of some quality attacking hockey by the Admirals through the first five minutes of the game. Brad Hunt stepped up from the right point to hammer home a slap shot through Marek Mazanec for his sixth goal of the season.
Then came the Admirals first goal scored in 92:51 of ice time. Miikka Salomaki made an excellent push to goal breaking from the left wing. He dished off to Colton Sissons who was trailing off of Laurent Brossoit’s back post. It was a tap in effort for Sissons whose goal triggered the teddy bear toss festivities. He now has seven goals this season. Each and every point he has scored this campaign has come from goals.
“It was pretty fun,” said Colton Sissons on the experience of scoring the teddy bear toss goal. “We were kind of joking around before the game who was going to get it. I was happy to finish off a really nice play from [Miikka] Salomaki off the wing.”
In the second period the Barons regained the lead off the strength of their deadly power-play. Austin Watson took a slash to break up what would have been a back door tap in for the Barons. In the end, they scored on nearly the exact same play with the man-advantage. Hunt pass from the left wing over to the right wing for Barons captain Anton Lander. He didn’t get the shot off first time, which made have disrupted Mazanec in net, but still had plenty of the net to tally his sixth goal of the season.
The Barons were right back after it with another power-play goal and a second goal of the game for their rangy defenseman Hunt. The d-man had acres of space on the right wing and Mazanec squared him up, got low fast, and sent himself the wrong way as Hunt whipped a wrister high blocker side for his seventh goal of the season.
Then something that we didn’t see Thursday night – a fight. Jimmy Oligny paired up with Jujhar Khaira. Not many blows really landed but the resulting take down by Khaira was a heck of a thud. Score Khaira 10, Oligny 9 in your fight cards.
With the Admirals already down, and needing a quick start to the third period, the Barons added another goal just 1:03 into the last period of regulation. The Barons leading goal scorer Ryan Hamilton was cruising in the left wing and threw a wrister to the near post, glove-side, of Mazanec who never touched it. That went down as Hamilton’s tenth goal of the season and the final shot on goal that Mazanec would see in the game. Magnus Hellberg was brought on in place of him for the rest of the third period.
“Whenever you have a goalie change that really sparks your energy,” said Sissons. “It’s a wake up call. We feel terrible that that happened to [Mazanec]. We kind of hung him out to dry there.”
Frederick Gaudreau gave the Admirals a quick response after scoring his second goal of the season only 1:15 after the Hamilton goal. Joe Piskula’s point shot knuckled up on Brossoit and Gaudreau was in the right place at the right time to clean up the garbage.
Gaudreau was right back at it again a few minutes later from almost the exact same play. Anthony Bitetto’s shot from the point cleared through bodies and fell to the crease. Joe Pendenza made a brilliant kick pass with his skate to Gaudreau on the left side of the net for a thumping rebounded goal – his third goal of the season and second of the game.
The Admirals used their timeout and emptied their net for an extra attacker with 1:23 remaining. It would go for naught as Jason Williams tacked on an empty netter with a backhand on the left wing wall to score his ninth goal of the season and cap the game off at its 5-3 final.
“We’re in a tough spot right now,” said Sissons. “I think that a little bit of frustration has crept in and that’s not a good sign. So, hopefully we can turn things around.”
Ramblings: Prior to this game both Joe Pendenza and Jonathan Diaby were recalled from the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL. Both were assigned together this past Tuesday. Tonight’s scratches included Mr. Diaby. It also included the Bash Brothers, Mike Liambas (healthy) and Rich Clune (lower-body). In tonight’s “Teddy Bear Toss” it was announced that fans threw 1,082 total teddy bears.
Thoughts on tonight’s game? What has been happening to the Admirals during this losing streak?