Struggling At Home; Ads lose 6-2 to Wolves

Rich Clune didn’t get into any fights tonight but it’s hard to imagine his comments didn’t add extra fuel on the Wolves fire in their 6-2 dismantling of the Admirals tonight. (Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

The Admirals lost 6-2 against the Chicago Wolves Friday night. This is the Admirals sixth consecutive loss on home ice. The defeat to the Wolves sees the gap in the Midwest Division between the two grow to four points.

“We felt good about playing good on the road,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason. “Clearly we don’t feel good about playing at home which absolutely makes no sense. No sense at all.”

The Wolves scored the opening goal moments after the Admirals had a goal reviewed and called off.

A net front scramble for the Admirals led to netminder Jordan Binnington getting bowled over. Rich Clune appeared to push the puck across but, upon further review, the call on the ice went down as no goal.

Just moments after the goal review the Wolves found themselves on an odd-man rush. Pat Cannone and Shane Harper had a two on one with Jonathan Diaby choosing to attack the puck carrier Cannone. The pass flew over to Harper and he buried a wrist shot to the blocker side of Magnus Hellberg for his eleventh goal of the season.

In the second period the Wolves extended their lead to 2-0 off of their first power-play chance of the game. Jeremy Welsh was stationed low to the right wing side of Hellberg’s cage when he received a pass from Philip McRae. It appeared as though Welsh was looking to toss a no-look spinning backhand pass to his opposite wing but, as the puck was en route, Joe Piskula deflected it past his goaltender to gift Welsh his eighth goal of the season.

The Wolves added another goal only thirty-five seconds later. Brent Regner stepped up from the right point, caused Brendan Leipsic to blow a tire, skated in closer, eyed up Hellberg, and ripped a shot top shelf for his fourth goal of the season.

The spin-o-rama might be banned from the shootout but it can still be displayed in on-ice action. Ty Rattie had enough space on the puck, standing in front of Hellberg, to pull off a spinning backhander over the big Swede’s blocker to record his fifteenth goal of the season.

Miikka Salomaki marked his return to the Admirals lineup with a goal late in the second period. Joe Pendenza chucked a shot off of Binnington’s pads from a bad angle and the puck spilled kindly to the on-rushing Salomaki for his fifth goal of the season.

That was the high. Then came another low. With less than a minute remaining in the second period, on a four-on-four, Wolves defenseman McRae scored after skating himself off the left wing wall and into space at the middle of the point. His slap shot had Hellberg flailing his glove at thin air. It was McRae’s tenth goal of the season and the Wolves fourth of the period.

Hellberg’s night of horrors ended after that second period. He faced seventeen shots and allowed five goals. Marek Mazanec was given the net for the third period and was signaled that he was going in following the fifth goal allowed by Hellberg. The Swede entered the game with the best save percentage and goals against average. That was thumped down to Earth courtesy of tonight’s game.

“We’re professional hockey players and we have to be ready when the puck drops and it starts with me,” said Magnus Hellberg. “I have to be a lot better than I was today. I’m accountable for my actions out there. I have to make the saves to make the team able to get a chance to win and I didn’t do that today.”

The final kicker from the Wolves came from their second power-play goal of the night. Colin Fraser’s shot took a deflection off of Taylor Aronson’s stick as he got low to block the shot. The puck knuckled to goal and right to Cody Beach on the backdoor of Mazanec for his second goal of the season.

The Wolves would end the night 2/2 on the power-play. The Admirals finished the night 0/5 and have a run of 0/27 on the power-play on home ice in their last seven games.

With twelve seconds to go there was a small silver lining for the Admirals to take from this game. Jimmy Oligny was able to score his first professional goal. He skated from the left point and into space before letting a wrister fly through traffic. Binnington never picked it up.

“Felt good,” said Jimmy Oligny in regards to scoring his first professional goal. “It would have felt better in a win. I can’t really celebrate because it wasn’t a good game for us.”

Ramblings: Tonight’s scratches for the Admirals were Frederick Gaudreau (healthy), Garrett Noonan (healthy), and Johan Alm (upper body). After the game, Evason stated that Alm is not close to returning to the team as he has yet to participate in skating drills. Miikka Salomaki returned to the Ads lineup after missing the final two games of the recent road trip due to illness. Attendance for tonight’s game was 7,089.

Thoughts on tonight’s game? Where does the fault fall tonight? What do the Admirals need to do to ignite their power-play on home ice?

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17 thoughts on “Struggling At Home; Ads lose 6-2 to Wolves”

  1. Replace the coach. Peter DeBoer is available . Something needs to be changed and the coach needs to go. Was at the game and with such a large crowd, the team looked BAD

  2. I agree with Randall. I’ve called for Dean’s head earlier and these players aren’t responding… he hasn’t shown any real ability to enhance players skills or show progression. Shake things up sit some guys to prove a point call up Shalla something needs to change hell call up Madore. The road trip was ok but wasn’t a cure all they still crapped their pants just no one smelled it cause we snagged some wins. If this is the result we get from this coach i can chew gum and stare off in oblivion. I’d be pretty cheap too, im officially unofficially putting my hat in the ring for interim coach (hahaha) Save us Obi Wan Kenobi you’re our only hope!

  3. I agree, see JS quotes from the coach. It’s cute, it’s pretty, etc. come on Dean. There waa nothing cute about that debacle of a game
    Pathetic showing by the Ads last night!
    Give Stan a chance

  4. I think the new giveaway for every game should be paper bags to wear on our heads “Bag-mirals” and free shirts with Deans face on it that say “Fire Me” its sad that every home game the circus comes to town to put on another laugher performance. Maybe run tv spots with roscoe begging people to look at pictures of train wrecks and the voice over say “if ya like what ya see come on down friday night and watch the Admirals crash into each other on ice while we host the Icehogs” some of the worst hockey in years with some most talented players in a while. ……..

  5. There are four thoughts I have on the subject.

    1) How often does a coach of a minor league team actually get relieved of duties in the middle of the season? From my memory, it doesn’t seem to happen very often (yes, I know it happened in Iowa earlier this season). I’m not sure if Evason technically works for the Ads or the Preds (and same question for all AHL coaches), but since he is part of the Preds organization and they waited until after last season to let Trotz go, I can’t imagine they would bother dealing with the AHL coach until after the season is over.

    2) I would love to know what changed between the beginning of the season and the last month. It’s crazy how much of a 180 degree change it has been. As everybody knows, the coach gets let go many times because you can’t go get a whole new team of players. I fully admit that sometimes players and coaches just don’t click.

    3) We are spoiled in Milwaukee. The Ads have been a playoff bound team for over a decade. How many teams, in any sport, are playoff bound for that long without a crappy season?

    4) Here’s the real kicker. Us fans excited about the Ads enough to post here and the many others that go to games know how hard it is to get good attendance at a minor league team’s games. And Friday night was a bad night to have that bad of a performance. At over 7,000 in attendance, many there were casual fans or just people who figured they would check out an Ads game. With a stinker like that, how many will think twice before going again? When you look at AHL attendance so far this season, the Ads are not looking good (, but we all know that for some weird reason it almost always picks up after football season is over. I don’t think many, if any, other states with AHL teams are so insane about football that basically all other sports are ignored as much as they are here until the football season is over, even though that team plays once per week.

    If the Ads attendance doesn’t pick up after football is over there’s a problem. And I really don’t want to lose this team because it really is fun and affordable. It’s a bit worrisome with the talk of the AHL adding a Western conference that a team with poor attendance could get moved, but I think there’s more of a chance of ECHL teams getting moved up to the AHL (other than the OKC Barons for sure getting moved).

  6. This team is a reflection of there coach, sloppy and milk toast. Every time they have some down time they come back looking sloppy and disorganized. That is a direct reflection of the coach.

  7. Oh! and by the way!,We finally had a very nice crowd last night only to LAY AN EGG! WHAT A FLOP!
    Nice timing DEAN!

  8. On the issue of teams moving Milwaukee would be lower on the list when it comes to AHL teams moving . First , some of the east coast teams are really struggling for fans in the stands more than the Ads. They are in older smaller rinks and their cities have had teams move often up and down Leagues like up to AHL and then down to the ECHL. The Admirals have concert nights, Bobblehead and other promos to raise the crowd. Many other cities lack the fan base and owner stability that the NHL is looking for.
    The Admirals have had and hopefully in the future a stable relationship with their parent club, and more importantly are not owned by their parent club. If the parent club owns the minor league club tends to lead to instability to future years in said cities

  9. Yes, it is nice to be an independent club. That is one of the reasons the Chicago Wolves have continued to be successful through various affiliates.

    I have wondered myself many times how some of those clubs with attendance figures in the 2,000s survive at all.

  10. One thing you all need to take into consideration…this Ads team is a VERY young team. You have to expect a stretch like this. I didn’t think it would start this soon, but I knew it was going to happen. Even with this bad stretch, the Ads are still 15-11-0-3. If they can stay a game or two over .500 through January, they will have a good chance to make a decent playoff run.

    Talent wise, these kids are better than recent Ads teams. They can make a run. Remember, as much as we would like it to be otherwise, wins in Milwaukee is not the goal…it is developing these guys for Nashville.

  11. Tjsharky, thank you! Somebody who says what the real goal of an AHL team is besides me. It may not always be fun, but it’s the truth.

  12. Tjsharky, thank you! Somebody who says what the real goal an AHL team is besides me. It may not always be fun, but it’s the truth.

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