The Admirals set a franchise record with a six-game winning streak to start the season. December happened. And now the Admirals are riding their second six-game winning streak of the season.
During this six-game winning streak the Admirals have outscored opponents 20-5, the goaltending tandem of Marek Mazanec and Magnus Hellberg have stopped 143/148 (0.966 save percentage), the power-play has gone 6/26 (23.1% conversion rate – well up from their overall figure of 16.2%), and the penalty kill has gone 19/21 (90.5% kill rate – their overall figure is 84.0%).
There are so many positives and they’ve all come together at the right time during this run. Two players that have stood out during this winning streak: Viktor Arvidsson, 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists)… Anthony Bitetto, 6 points (1 goal, 5 assists). Arvidsson especially has been playing full-throttle these last few games. His skating ability has been causing big time problems for opponents and he’s been solid on the resurgent Admirals power-play.
In one final stat I’d like for you all to wrap your head around this. Zach Budish has played twelve games for the Milwaukee Admirals this season. They have won all twelve games in which he has played. If you are wondering: Budish has 7 points (4 goals, 3 assists), a plus/minus rating of +5, and 4 penalty minutes. Perhaps it’s just because he plays the right way?
The Adirondack Flames have a record of 22-15-2-1 (47 points) and are second in the North Division. They have gone 4-5-1-0 in their last ten games and have lost their last two games entering tonight’s contest.
The Flames haven’t played a game in a week so it will be really interesting to see the difference between the two sides as they lock up. Anticipate a quicker first period for the Admirals with the Flames having an extra step to their game later on.
Technically speaking the Flames leading scorer on the season is Drew Shore with his 30 points (9 goals, 21 assists). The thing is he was recently acquired after a trade between the Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames that saw him and Corban Knight get swapped. Shore was recently called up to the Calgary Flames on Wednesday so that gives “leading scorer” moniker over to Émile Poirier who has 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists).
In former-Admiral land, the Flames have Nolan Yonkman and Mathieu Tousignant on the roster. Yonkman’s leadership qualities have been pretty well documented already but it’s great to see he continues to play well at the AHL level to boot: 7 assists (1 goal, 6 assists), plus/minus rating of -1, and 35 penalty minutes. Tousignant has been on a bit of a roll this month. This season he has 12 points (3 goals, 9 assists), a plus/minus rating of -7, and 72 penalty minutes. This month Tousi has 3 assists in four games.
In goal, the Flames have had the duo of Joni Ortio and Brad Thiessen working away. Ortio has played the better majority of games for them but was called up to Calgary last week. The good news for Adirondack is that the numbers between the two are quite close. Ortio: 17-8-1-0 record, 2.52 goals against average, and 0.916 save percentage. Thiessen: 5-7-2-1 record, 2.59 goals against average, and 0.917 save percentage.
Thiessen should be the man in net tonight. He’s a veteran, having played 182 career games, and has played the previous two games for the Flames. The alternative would be Doug Carr who has played 2 career games in the AHL with a playoff cameo last season. He has yet to play in the AHL this season. The majority of his season has been spent with the Colorado Eagles of the ECHL.
Expectations for tonight? Will the Admirals winning streak hit seven games? Would you give Rob Madore a start in net tonight?