The Admirals lost 3-1 against the Adirondack Flames Friday night to extend their losing streak to seven games. That mark is a franchise record for the Admirals during the AHL era of the team.
“It’s just frustrating,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason. “Different ways we’re losing hockey games. I guess we have to be better. We can talk about our group being young and learning but we’re deep enough into the season that we should know what we’re doing.”
The Admirals first power-play chance on the night came in the second period and saw them spend 1:54 of the man-advantage in attack. Nothing came of that chance and they immediately paid for it with a power-play goal against. Ryan Culkin’s point shot took a deflection by Ben Hanowski en route to Marek Mazanec in goal. That goes down as Hanowski’s eleventh goal of the season.
With 1:31 remaining in the second period the Admirals leveled things up at 1-1. Felix Girard poked a puck from the side of the net and skipping around in front of Joni Ortio in net. Joe Pendenza managed to land a backhanded swipe at the hopping puck to tally his fourth goal of the season.
“It was just kind of a scramble out in front of the net,” said Joe Pendenza. “When you get into those situations you kind of start swinging and hope for the best. It was a little flutter shot that went in. We’ll take it.”
The Flames scored 2:25 into the third period to halt the Admirals momentum on the other side of the second intermission. It was nearly the exact same goal that was scored from their power-play. Corey Potter threw a puck on net from the right point and, between the circles, Turner Elson caught a big piece of the puck to score his third goal of the season on the redirected shot.
From that point forward the third period really flew by. With 2:03 remaining in regulation another kick in the gut play cost the Admirals a goal to make it 3-1. Garrett Noonan fumbled the puck and allowed Elson to pounce on him and score a breakaway with a backhander. He scored as many goals in the third period tonight as he had all season entering tonight’s game.
The Admirals dropped all five games and failed on all twenty power-play chances during this homestand. While the defense was hit and miss in front of good goaltending it’s the offense that has been stinging the hardest during this spell. This five game homestand saw four players score goals: Pendenza tonight, Pontus Aberg twice, Gaudreau twice, and Colton Sissons once. Six goals in five home games. Here’s hoping the upcoming four game road trip acts as the proverbial, “want to get away?”
Ramblings: Tonight’s scratches for the Admirals were Patrick Cehlin (healthy), Mike Liambas (shoulder), and Johan Alm (upper-body). This was Marek Mazanec’s first start in net in two games. Mazanec has lost his last three appearances.
Thoughts on tonight’s performance? Is this upcoming road trip the answer to all our problems? Is the problem with our offense that we’re being out-muscled and forced to outside shooting that gets blocked before the goalie even has to make a save? Can we start a therapy Admirals losing streak support group… because I need it.