The Admirals were shutout 3-0 by the Grand Rapids Griffins Friday night. It ends the Ads franchise record nine-game winning streak in rather painful fashion. This was pretty much a game that the Griffins had in cruise control from start to finish.
“Very disappointing regardless of what has happened of in the past,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason. “Tonight’s game was disappointing. We played a good hockey game but we turned the puck over first goal, we make a mistake on the second, we turn the puck over on the third goal. I honestly think we out-chanced that hockey team tonight. Their goalie was great. I thought we had our chances to score. We just made some, for the lack of a better term, bonehead plays to hurt our hockey team.”
The game’s first power-play sent Temmu Pulkkinen to the penalty box for a trip to Brendan Leipsic. The problem with that is, if the power-play goes bust, the AHL’s top scorer is ready to break out of the box the other way. The Griffins worked their kill and exit to tee up Pulkkinen out of their PK and get a two-on-one. Pulkkinen passed over to Mitch Callahan who scored five hole on a first timed shot for his sixteenth goal of the season.
After the Admirals had a goal disallowed at one end the Griffins bashed in their second of the first period down at the other. Nathan Paetsh’s shot from the left point took a deflection through the net front traffic and hit off of Magnus Hellberg’s left pad. The puck fell kindly for Landon Ferraro who put in the rebound for his nineteenth goal of the season.
In the second period the Griffins extended their lead to 3-0. Tomas Nosek made a spectacular cut across the mouth of goal, right to left, and pushed a puck underneath Hellberg. The puck squirted loosed behind the big Swede who had no clue where the shot by Nosek had gone. It had fallen free behind him in the crease and was easy pickings for Mark Zengerle to score his sixth goal of the season. He probably won’t score an easier goal than that in his career.
The scoring would end right there on the night. That means back-to-back shutouts for Griffins netminder Jared Coreau on consecutive nights. He stopped all thirty-eight shots he faced against the Iowa Wild last night and all twenty-eight the Admirals threw at him tonight.
“Some guys got to look individually at some mistakes that we made,” said Evason. “After that we’ve got to bounce back. We play a hockey game tomorrow. We play a hockey team tomorrow that hasn’t given up a goal in two games and scored nine. We’re going into a real tough situation but going to enjoy the challenge.”
Ramblings: Prior to tonight’s game the Admirals recalled Zach Budish from the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL. It was the second such move this week as Rob Madore was also brought up in a corresponding move to Marek Mazanec’s call to the Nashville Predators. Tonight’s scratches for the Admirals were Miikka Salomaki (upper-body), Zach Budish (healthy) and Johan Alm (upper-body). Rich Clune took an awkward hit into the end boards in the first period and did not return to the game following the incident.
Thoughts on tonight’s game? What went wrong? Can you push this aside as just a controlled game for Grand Rapids with a hot goaltender in net?