The Admirals won 1-0 in overtime on the road against the Rockford IceHogs Friday night. It was a dazzling goaltending stalemate between Marek Mazanec and Michael Leighton that held the game scoreless until Austin Watson’s team leading fourteenth goal finished things off in overtime. The Ads have now won three games in a row.
Both the Admirals and IceHogs were unable to find the back of the net through the entirety of regulation tonight. The chances were plenty but both Marek Mazanec and Michael Leighton were stout in net. The Ads matched last night’s season high for shots in a period in the second by peppering in seventeen shots on the back of three power-play opportunities.
The breakthrough wouldn’t come until 2:14 into overtime when Austin Watson scored the game-winner. Watson was flying down the right wing and zipped in a hard shot to the near post that beat Leighton low blocker. The goal for Watson is his team leading fourteenth goal of the season and put an end to Leighton’s Rockford IceHogs franchise best shutout streak that went on for 187:29 of ice time.
Enough superlatives couldn’t be given to both Mazanec and Leighton both from this game. Mazanec earned his third shutout of the season by stopping all twenty-seven shots he faced. Leighton was just as equally up to the task as he had stopped all thirty-four shots he faced in goal right up until Watson scored the game-winner in overtime. Each made highlight reel saves. Each were rightfully voted as the game’s top two stars.
The win is the Admirals third consecutive victory and also, paired with results from around the AHL, sees a big swing in their division standing. Entering tonight the Ads were placed fourth in the Midwest Division. They are now in second after this game and trail the IceHogs for the division lead by six points with three games at hand over Rockford.
Ramblings: Before the game Miikka Salomäki was reassigned to the Milwaukee Admirals after the Nashville Predators activated Taylor Beck and Matt Cullen from injured reserve. Tonight’s scratches for the Admirals were Brendan Leipsic (healthy), Garrett Noonan (healthy), and Johan Alm (upper body). With tonight’s game in the books, Mike Liambas has now officially served all three games of his suspension for his illegal check to the head of Louis-Marc Aubry.
Thoughts from tonight’s game? Are the Milwaukee Admirals back in full swing or what? What do these wins against the Midwest Division leaders do for your confidence in this team after a rough month of December?