The Admirals won 5-2 against the Lake Erie Monsters Sunday evening. Kevin Fiala produced his second multi-goal game of the season while Triston Grant made it five straight games with a goal.
“I think we played really well tonight both offensively and defensively,” said Magnus Hellberg. “Everybody played hard and we scored a couple of really nice goals. It was a good win for sure.”
Kevin Fiala put the Admirals on the board in the first period with his third goal of the season. Triston Grant passed over to him and Fiala held off a defenseman, waited, and waited some more before beating Sami Aittokallio high blocker side with a wrister.
Grant continued the first period scoring by tallying his tenth goal of the season. He skated in from neutral ice, received a feed back by Zach Budish, and fired on goal past a net front screen. Grant has now scored a goal in five straight games and scored six goals from his last seven contests
It took only 2:05 into the second period for the Admirals to put another puck past Aittokallio. Colton Sissons was on the receiving end of some outstanding passing put together by Viktor Arvidsson and Fiala. The 18-year old from Switzerland started the play by swooping all the way around the net looking for a wrap-around. That didn’t work but the following tic-tac-toe to Sissons at the front of the net to score five hole did. It’s his seventeenth goal of the season.
There was a really spirited fight that came in the late going of the second period. Rich Clune and Mitchell Heard chucked their gloves and helmets off a draw and proceeded to unload. They actually swung each other down to the ice, officials tried to skate in to stop them, and they popped up and went at it some more. After the bout, Clune wanted to get the crowd to make some noise and grabbed the Admirals “Shooting for a Cure” crest on the purple jersey and he left the ice.
The game wasn’t going too kindly for Aittokallio in net for the Monsters and it didn’t get better when Fiala scored his second of the night. There were plenty of bodies crushing into the Lake Erie netminder as a loose puck scramble started. Fiala was able to pop in the puck for his fourth goal of the season but Aittokallio was livid about the lack of response by the officials as he was unable to make any attempt of stopping Fiala’s chance.
“Arvidsson went to the net and he went in the goalie,” said Kevin Fiala. “The puck was just laying there in front of the net. I just had to put it in. I don’t know if it was interference or not but it was a goal. So it’s a goal now.”
The second period ended with Magnus Hellberg’s shutout bid coming up short. A puck kicked around the left wing side of goal and fell over to a slap shot awaiting Karl Stollery. His blast found a hole through Hellberg on the glove side for his fifth goal of the season.
In the third period the Monsters were able to make it a two-goal game again courtesy of Gabriel Beaupre. Lake Erie was buzzing on the shift and when the puck fell back to the point the puck was wristed in from the right point. The puck glanced off a post before going in as Beaupre’s first goal of the season.
With time running out the Monsters emptied their net early as they trailed by two. Arvidsson managed to defend at one end, skated up towards neutral, and bag his sixteenth goal of the season on the empty net marker to make it 5-2.
To set the stage for Tuesday night’s rematch there was one last fight. Heard engaged his earlier combatant Clune after the game was over and that would prove to be a really bad idea. Clune clobbered him in the post-game tilt. Both received fighting majors and game misconducts after the completion of the game.
Ramblings: The pre-game news was headlined by the Nashville Predators making a trade that sent Admirals winger Brendan Leipsic to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He will be reporting to the Marlies. Anthony Bitetto was reassigned to the Admirals ahead of the game, as well. He was a game-time decision but played through flu-like symptoms. Today’s scratches for the Admirals were Joe Piskula (lower-body), Jimmy Oligny (right knee), Johan Alm (left wrist), and Jaynen Rissling (healthy). Piskula is expected to be out for a good while. Both Oligny and Alm have returned to skating with the Swede now sans-cast on his left wrist.
Thoughts on the win? Is simplicity to the Admirals offensive approach the key to their success? Which players will need to pick up the offensive pace with Leipsic leaving via trade today and what will his loss in Milwaukee mean moving forward?