The Chatterbox, Vol. 60

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

Last night was the first of many pro games in the North American playing career of Kevin Fiala. Now all he needs to do is learn how to tape his stick. (Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

With last night’s 3-2 shootout victory over the Utica Comets the Milwaukee Admirals matched a franchise record by winning eight straight games. The only other time they managed to achieve an eight game winning streak was in the IHL days in March, 1989.

Kevin Fiala might have been the big watch coming into the game but the man who stole the show for me was Marek Mazanec. After Magnus Hellberg allowed two goals from five shots the Admirals needed to make the change. Hellberg looked to be scrambling a bit and, while he could have possibly fought through the kinks, needed to get pulled when he did. Mazanec came in and slammed the door. He stopped all twenty-one shots he faced in regulation and overtime. He also stopped three of five in the shootout.

Mazanec was only just reassigned to the Admirals yesterday. As you’ll hear him say down below, his off-ice day was busy enough without even getting involved in last night’s game. He woke up at 4am in Montreal, got a 7am flight, waited for a delay, made it to Milwaukee, took a quick nap, got to the rink, and it’s game time. I’m sure the team prepared him as much as they could in that short window but my guess is he just allowed his instincts to carry him through the game against the Comets. He made some spectacular saves and his entry into the game allowed the Admirals the foundation they needed to get back to their game en route to the comeback win,

After the game I spoke with Dean Evason, Marek Mazanec, Kevin Fiala, Magnus Hellberg, and Brendan Leipsic. Here is what they all had to say after the Ads eighth successive win.

Dean Evason on the Admirals on and off game tonight:

Evason comments on Miikka Salomäki‘s equalizing goal to end the second period:

Evason and I on the decision to pull Hellberg:

Evason on Mazanec’s relief effort:

Evason’s assessment of Fiala’s debut:

Evason on the winning streak and closing in on the Midwest Division lead:

Evason talks about Leipsic’s addition to the AHL All Star Classic:

Evason provides an update on Johan Alm‘s current status:

Marek Mazanec describes his busy day being reassigned from the NHL:

Mazanec surprised to be put into the game:

Kevin Fiala on his North American pro debut:

Fiala talks about the biggest difference from the North American game to European style:

Fiala on his first ever three-on-three overtime experience:

Fiala talks about his shootout goal:

Magnus Hellberg on his start to the game:

Hellberg talks about his battery-mate in net, Mazanec:

Hellberg on his fellow AHL All Star, Leipsic:

Brendan Leipsic on being added to the AHL All Star Classic:

Leipsic on a potential Skills Competition against Hellberg:

Leipsic talks about the Admirals improvement:

Leipsic on Fiala’s debut and potential:

Comments from the comments? Any concerns in regards to the outing by Hellberg or was that just one of those games? What did you make of Fiala’s debut performance?

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