The Admirals lost 3-2 in overtime on the road against the Iowa Wild Monday night. The loss sees the Admirals’ record in December fall to 3-6-1-1 in eleven games. The Wild, who have the worst record in the AHL this season, now have eleven wins – four of which have come at the expense of the Admirals.
Following Friday night’s 6-2 loss to the Chicago Wolves the Admirals spent seven hours on Saturday devoted to watching video and working out. It was done to grab the players’ attention. The roster was also given a stir. Pontus Åberg, Triston Grant, and Jonathan Diaby were out. Frédérick Gaudreau and Garrett Noonan were in.
If the first period was anything to go by then the Admirals bite was stronger than that of the Wild’s. The opening twenty minutes ended scoreless with each side having a power-play and the Admirals up big time in shots, 14-5.
In the second period the Admirals broke the deadlock with a power-play goal. Colton Sissons chipped up the right wing boards to Ian White who slid across to the opposite wing for Viktor Arvidsson. The Swede was free in acres of space, skated in towards the faceoff circle, and whipped a wrist shot to the near post and past the blocker of Johan Gustafsson. It’s Arvidsson’s eighth goal of the season and fifth scored from a power-play.
After some jaw jacking put both Mike Liambas and Joel Rechlicz in the box for attempting to get a fight going off of a faceoff, surprise surprise, they dropped the gloves the instant they left their respective penalty boxes. Liambas actually tripped on his own stick and lost his balance as both he and Rechlicz tumbled to the ice. The Wild forward proceeded to keep throwing punches after the officials jumped in and landed himself an additional ten minute misconduct.
The Wild equalized in the third period off of Zack Mitchell’s eighth goal of the season. Marc Hagel was in on the dump and chase, wrapped around from the right wing side of Marek Mazanec’s cage to the opposite end, and threw a puck out to Mitchell’s center lane drive. The one-touch finish by Mitchell beat Mazanec to the blocker side and it became a 1-1 contest.
Arvidsson’s mastery of the Iowa Wild continued when he scored his second goal of the night. Marc Hagel’s pass back to Justin Falk was deflected and sent Arvidsson off on a breakaway. Gustafsson scrambled to square up on his fellow countryman but overcommitted. Arvidsson calmly deposited the puck along the ice and past the outstretched pads of Gustafsson to score his ninth goal of the season. Arvidsson now has five goals in six games against the Wild.
With under four minutes remaining in regulation the Wild leveled things up yet again. Ex-Admiral Jonathon Blum’s initial shot from the point was saved with the right pad of Mazanec but not cleared or covered. Jordan Schroeder was on the door step to push in the puck to make it 2-2 on his eighth goal of the season.
This game would head into overtime where the Admirals would quickly shoot themselves in the foot. Viktor Stålberg took a holding penalty 1:19 into the overtime period and presented the Wild with a four-on-three power-play that they would capitalize off of for the victory. Danny Syvret would connect a back door feed to Schroeder to score a tap in goal for his ninth goal of the season and second of the game.
Ramblings: Tonight’s scratches for the Admirals were Triston Grant, Pontus Åberg, Jonathan Diaby, and Johan Alm. The lone injured player from that list is Alm who missed his ninth consecutive game due to an upper body injury. Viktor Stålberg returned to game action for the first time since injuring his knee on 11/7/14 in a game against the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Thoughts on tonight’s game? Why are the Milwaukee Admirals unable to close out games? How costly are these losses to the Iowa Wild? What should the response be tomorrow night?