Losing Streak Reaches Six-Games; Ads lose 2-1 to IceHogs

Triston Grant’s check to Cody Bass might have been the highlight of the night. Yet, the Admirals dropped their sixth-straight game with a 2-1 loss at home to the Rockford IceHogs. (Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

The Admirals lost 2-1 against the Rockford IceHogs Wednesday night. The losing streak for the Admirals is now up to six-games. The last time the Admirals suffered a losing streak this long was the six-game skid in the 2012-13 season from January 11-23.

“Absolutely terrible,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason. “We didn’t win any puck battles. Our power-play *pause* there is no power-play. We defend ok and then we lose in a tight game because of that.”

It was a relatively quiet first period. The IceHogs had the better of the Admirals in terms of shots, 8-4, but no team found the back of the net. The standout highlight of the opening frame was a check Triston Grant delivered to Garret Ross that sent the IceHog forward head over heels into the Admirals bench. The reaction from Jonathan Diaby and Jimmy Oligny, who Ross split between the bench, was priceless.

Another big hit along the boards ended up triggering a fight in the second period. Diaby pasted Cody Bass into the boards near the IceHogs penalty box and it caught the attention of Brandon Mashinter. Diaby answered the bell and, despite the size advantage, was knocked down to the ice. Decent blows from both were landed. Score things Mashinter 10, Diaby 9 in your fight cards due to the knock down for the IceHog forward.

1:06 after the fight came the game’s opening goal scored from a tic-tac-toe passing play by the IceHogs. Dennis Rasmussen broke into the zone from the right wing and dropped off for Phillip Danault. As he edged in towards Hellberg from the faceoff circle he picked out the center lane drive by Ross for a one-touch finish. It’s Ross’ eleventh goal of the season.

Then some relief. Viktor Arvidsson passed off from the right wing wall to Pontus Åberg. IceHogs netminder Michael Leighton appeared to be over-committed to the near side post and Åberg unloaded a Gatorade smasher against the grain to beat the veteran netminder blocker side. The goal for Åberg, his tenth, makes him the first Admiral to reach double-digit goals this season.

Forty seconds into the third period and the IceHogs regained their lead. It was a goal for T.J. Brennan that was eerily similar to his sniper shot from last Thursday. The defenseman flew up on the left wing for the rush and ripped a shot from the wall over the shoulder of Hellberg. There was next to no room where he was aiming but the puck dinked off the crossbar and in for his sixth goal of the season.

The Admirals pushed for the final minute with their net empty and an extra attacker on but, just like their power-play work, couldn’t get the job done. On this current homestand, four-games in, the Admirals are a baffling 0/17 on the power-play.

“Our power-play is not only not giving us any goals it’s not giving us momentum,” said Evason. “It has to be better.”

Ramblings: Tonight’s scratches for the Admirals included Johan Alm (upper-body), Mike Liambas (healthy), and Joe Pendenza (healthy). Speaking of scratches, after not being included in eight-straight games for the Chicago Blackhawks – Jeremy Morin was sent to the Rockford IceHogs on a conditioning assignment starting with tonight’s game. Morin had failed to score a point from fifteen NHL games this season after being a point per game player for the IceHogs last season. Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon was in attendance tonight potentially taking a look at the IceHogs forward. Rich Clune made his return to the ice after suffering a lower-body injury the last time the Admirals and IceHogs met last Thursday. Clune missed the Admirals two games this past weekend.

Behind the scenes tonight a very tragic story unfolded in which a fan died of an apparent heart attack. I would like to personally extend my thoughts and prayers to the family and friends associated with this incident.

Thoughts on tonight’s game? What would you fix to make the Admirals power-play run better? Is this simply a matter of the offense running out of steam or are more issues at work during this losing streak?

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10 thoughts on “Losing Streak Reaches Six-Games; Ads lose 2-1 to IceHogs”

  1. That is only the second time in 50 years that a fan died at a hockey game that I was attending. My deepest sympathy to the family.

    The team didn’t play as a team. They didn’t take some shots at the goal. They didn’t get much traffic in from of the net. They didn’t pass diagonally in the neutral zone against the trap. The puck possession and the board play looked like a peewee team at times, which makes the PP useless. Half the D-men didn’t play well, Diaby, Oligny and sometimes Noonan.

    Brennan had just enough room in the top corner to score, and he did. I didn’t like what “Mash” did. Diaby had a clean shoulder-to-shoulder hit. They need to change the rules to make that an additional penalty on people like Mashinter. Fights after clean hits make me sick.

  2. adsfan: Sounded like most people working behind the scenes tonight were working with a cloud over their head. Even if you don’t know who it is who passed I still view that person as one of our own coming to a hockey game to have a nice night out. Just sad knowing what time of year it is and that happening. Puts things into perspective.

    The Mashinter play, drawing Diaby into a fight, doesn’t get me too riled up. It’s a clean hit from Diaby for sure but if he declined to fight I doubt Mashinter persists. It’s just one of those spur of the moment, heated game, big play, two guys look at each other, one shakes the gloves, and the other obliges. It was scoreless at the time and I feel like both just wanted to get a spark going for their team. Had Mashinter just jumped on top of him or started pulling punches before Diaby even had his gloves off then I get agitated if no instigator gets called on the ice.

  3. They looked better last night than they did a few nights ago when I saw them play the IceHogs, but that isn’t saying much. They still didn’t look good. No PP, poor organization, not taking enough shots, the ones they did take were often weak, etc. OTOH, they looked more like a team than they did the last time the IceHogs were in town when it didn’t even look like any of them actually wanted the puck.

    I have to agree with the Daniel on the Mashinter/Diaby fight. Diaby could have easily ignored Mashinter but didn’t. He immediately dropped the gloves as well. Had he ignored Mashinter and Mashinter continued, then I think you get Mashinter with instigating, but this seemed pretty mutual to me.

    My prayers go out to the family and friends of the man who died in the concourse. I saw that as I was leaving the gift shop back there, and words simply cannot describe how horrible I felt for all involved.

  4. We have a pretty young team here. Think that might be a reason for the sudden sputter?

    I’m not against fighting in hockey but I sure don’t condone it. Wouldn’t it have been smarter for Diaby to keep the gloves on and go on the PP? Its time we start playing smart and act like these games are auditions to the NHL…unless they lack the self-esteem to think they’ll ever be able to reach that tier.

    I know I’m going to sound like I’m contradicting myself but why is Liambas sitting? He might be a lifetime AHLer and fighter but at least he has some experience and heart. Was really excited earlier this year when he had that two goal game.

  5. This story says that Liambas was a healthy scratch, see below the game highlights.

    What Diaby did is legal in soccer. How does that start a fight in a much rougher hockey game?

  6. adsfan/Steve/Aaron: Massive apologies for not getting to this sooner. Had a computer virus that needed to be destroyed.

    To the best of my knowledge Liambas was a healthy scratch at the time I posted this… and that was an assumption based on the limited talk I’ve heard in regards to him (unlike Johan Alm who I heard suffered an upper-body injury). I defer in this case to Aaron Sims expertise. Assumed Liambas had been out in favor of a quicker more up-tempo fourth line these last few games. Wasn’t aware he, like Clune, was injured in that game last Thursday.

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