Monsters Comeback to Haunt Admirals Again

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

Tonight was the second time this season that the Lake Erie Monsters overcame a 2-0 deficit against the Milwaukee Admirals. (Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

The Admirals lost 3-2 in a shootout against the Lake Erie Monsters Tuesday night. The Monsters came back from a 2-0 deficit for the second time against the Admirals this season.

“We were happy with the way we played,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason. “We played hard. We played right. They wanted it as bad as we did.”

In the pre-game skate Mike Liambas and Daniel Maggio had a chat at center ice. I’m going to assume it wasn’t about the weather or tonight’s attendance. The first chance they shared the ice in the first period they dropped the gloves. That bout lasted a good while. The officials really let them go. All in all, I would score that even in the fight card. Maggio had the start and Liambas had the take-down finish.

The second period was cruising along with the Monsters enjoying the better part of attacking hockey. After the Admirals first power-play things did start to even out. Then came the breakthrough courtesy of Triston Grant’s fifth goal of the season. Taylor Aronson managed to skate all the way up to the lower left faceoff circle and throw a low shot on Calvin Pickard. The puck kicked off the pads and right to Grant who popped in the rebound.

It only took the Admirals 3:25 of ice time before capitalizing again. This time it was Colton Sissons who was in the right place at the right time. Karl Stollery fell over in the left wing pocket and gifted the puck right to Sissons who passed over to Viktor Arvidsson. The puck seemed to knuckle up on the Swede but bounced to Sissons with Pickard reading the play wrong big time. Sissons was free in space to the left wing circle and had a wide open net to lay a wrister off on for his fifteenth goal of the season.

Lake Erie got on the board in the third period with a shorthanded goal. Ben Street and Colin Smith were off to the races with only Taylor Aronson between them. Street passed up to Smith in neutral ice before getting the puck right back once Aronson clamped down towards Smith. The pass hit Street clean and he tagged Magnus Hellberg for his third goal of the season. It ended a shutout streak for Hellberg of 137:19 over the last three games.

After a Zach Budish tripping call the Monsters were able to equalize with a power-play goal. Smith, who set up their first goal, repeated the feat on the second tally as he raced into the zone off the right wing before nailing a perfect pass to Paul Carey on the backdoor of Hellberg. It’s Carey’s twelfth goal of the season and his fourth scored against the Admirals in five games.

In overtime, the Admirals were in complete desperation mode with a power-play in three-on-three that gave an extra attacker to the Monsters. Hellberg made crazy stop after crazy stop including a play that needed to be reviewed before determining that it wasn’t an overtime game-winning goal.

After surviving on the penalty kill in overtime the Admirals ended up taking their chances in the shootout. Every skater missed their shootout attempt until the last man in the third round, Joey Hishon, beat Hellberg off a slow backhander that flicked up and over the Swede and into the back of the net to seal the Monsters’ comeback after trailing 2-0.

“I don’t think we should have even gone to overtime in the first place,” said Magnus Hellberg. “I thought we played really well. We dropped the 2-0 lead in the third and that shouldn’t happen.”

When the Admirals played in Lake Erie on December 18 they lost a 2-0 lead and allowed four straight goals to the Monsters. Tonight they lost their 2-0 in the third period through a pair of special teams plays. It might not be the best setup game for the Admirals with the Rockford IceHogs coming in this weekend. Devil’s advocate, perhaps this was just the sort of game the Ads needed before such a showdown.

“Coach liked how way we played,” said Triston Grant. “We played good before Saturday as well in Grand Rapids so I think we’re just playing the right way. Sometimes you find, when you’re making mistakes, it ends up in the back of your net. I think we have to tweak a couple of things and get ready for a big weekend.”

Ramblings: Tonight’s scratches for the Admirals were all due to injury: Miikka Salomaki (upper body), Rich Clune (lower body), Jimmy Oligny (lower body), and Johan Alm (upper body). The loss tonight was the first experienced for the Milwaukee Admirals when Zach Budish was in the lineup. The team had won all fourteen games he factored into prior to tonight.

Thoughts on tonight’s performance? What happened in the third period? Does the finish to this game worry you for the Admirals upcoming weekend three-in-three?

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6 Responses to Monsters Comeback to Haunt Admirals Again

  1. adsfan says:

    The third period was bad for the Admirals. They were outshot. Most of the shots they took were long and weak and to the side of the net. Grant took one wide on purpose and nearly scored on the rebound in the third period. They couldn’t get out of their defensive zone a few times. Sometimes due to LEM, sometimes they shot themselves in the skate. Ian White made so many mistakes that I lost count. The team should not renew his contract. He was pulling Bitetto down with him. In the OT, White was suddenly much better. I wonder if a coach told him to improve fast or look for another job? Milwaukee nearly scored between Grant and Sissons’ goals in period 2. They really pressured the net, but just couldn’t get it in. Pickard looked exhausted at the end of the period. It was the chance to go up 3-0 and win the game. It was a turning point.

    The interference call on Cheek was one of the strangest penalties that I have even seen. The SH was a 2-on-1 because 4 Admirals were caught deep when they lost the puck. Puck possession was poor in that period. The Stalberg penalty was bizarre. The puck was gone and he just ran over Pickard. That killed Milwaukee’s chance to win in the OT period.

    That goal review was strange. I sit by that net and the puck wasn’t close to going in. If LEM saw something black in the net, it was Hellberg’s skate. The goal judge never turned on the red light, which indicated that he didn’t think it went in either. I was shocked that neither ref bothered to speak to him, I guess they depend only on the video replay. Why bother having goal judges? It looked like the puck stuck in Hellberg’s hockey pants after the initial save, so it just disappeared.

  2. adsfan says:

    One question about that goal review. Is one ref designated as the head official when there are 2 assigned for a game? I noticed that the ref who reviewed the goal, Ragusin, was the one that missed the first period, probably due to travel issues. He made the correct call. He took his time looking at whatever replay or replays were available. I noticed that none were shown on the scoreboard until after his ruling. The LEM bench seemed upset enough for a penalty to be called on them, but neither ref did that. They didn’t call anything when Girard was put into a headlock during OT only 10 feet from a ref. They also missed LEM with 5 skaters on the ice in the OT. One guy went off and 2 jumped on. They stopped after about 10 feet and both headed back. I could see the Milwaukee players on the bench jumping up and pointing. I could hear them yelling.

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  4. adsfan: Evason said after the game that the refs missed a lot of things. And that, for my money, includes the “no goal” call which the replay showed in the jumbotron footage // Admirals video highlights clearly show that puck is miles over the goal line. That was a goal. I watched the official checking the review from my spot up in the press section and they only ever reviewed the overhead view which you could see nothing from – because that puck goes underneath Hellberg and then bleeds into the black of his shorts/socks etc. They blew that call by not looking at any other angles.

  5. adsfan says:

    I watched the replay 5 times. At 4:27, the puck appears to come out from behind the top of Hellberg’s left leg pad above the knee. I could never see the puck across the line! Previous to the puck appearance, Hellberg’s entire left leg pad is outside the goal line at 4:26, as is his pants. At 4:44, it looks like it is in. Hellberg’s thrashing around obscures the puck. I don’t understand how the views can be so different.

  6. Steve C says:

    It’s clearly in at 4:44. Per Aaron Sims’ post game show, the refs can only look at the overhead cam for reviews, and you cannot see the puck from that angle so it was a “correct call” from that standpoint. Here’s a screenshot of the video as best I could get:

    Right after this, Scissons comes in and moves the puck back in front of the goal line.

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