The Admirals earned a 3-0 shutout on the road against the Lake Erie Monsters Wednesday night. The Ads set a season low for shots allowed in a game with the Monsters only putting sixteen shots on net. One better, Marek Mazanec stopped each and every one of them to snap the Admirals five game losing skid.
After a slow start for the home side, birthday boy Daniel Maggio asked Jonathan Diaby if he wanted to drop the mitts in the first period. The two locked up and Maggio landed quite a few jabs out the gate. Diaby started to fair a bit better in the middle of the fight but Maggio started getting some solid overhand rights that took Diaby down. Give the birthday boy for Lake Erie the win, 29-28, in your three round fight cards.
It took the Admirals fifty-five seconds into the second period to get the game’s first goal. Johan Alm made a great swooping play down the left wing. After he dodged the check of Gabriel Beaupre he fired on net and Calvin Pickard kicked the puck out to the path of Colton Sissons. An Austin Watson net front drive helped clear out the front of the net and Sissons was able to pop home his twentieth goal of the season.
Not too long after the Admirals got another puck past Pickard. Beaupre was torched again in defense. This time his clearing breakout attempt down the right wing boards was picked off by Ian White who immediately tossed to the front of the net where Felix Girard was all alone. It was a flashy finish for Girard’s fourth goal of the season and first since back in the middle of December at Toronto.
This game was heavily in favor of the Admirals throughout until the third period where they appeared to take their foot off the gas a little bit. That may sound poor but, thankfully, their defensive effort backed that up. With under three minutes to go, the Monsters emptied their net despite being on the penalty kill at the time. Joe Pendenza buried his seventh goal of the season to close the game off with an empty net tally on the power-play.
Marek Mazanec didn’t have to stop much but, when he was called upon, he was extremely confident in net. He stopped all sixteen shots he faced to earn his fourth shutout for the Admirals this season. The shots allowed by the Admirals set a season low.
Credit must be given to Mazanec for staying sharp throughout plenty of dead spots in the game without action in his zone. His highlight of the night came when the Monsters had just emptied their net and stopped Andrew Agozzino in his tracks on a breakaway chance.
Ramblings: Prior to the game, Frédérick Gaudreau was recalled to the Milwaukee Admirals from the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL. Rich Clune was suspended for tonight’s game by the AHL after accumulating his third fighting instigator misconduct of the season (AHL Rule 46.11). He will be available for Friday night’s game against the Grand Rapids Griffins. Tonight’s scratches included Mike Liambas (lower body), Miikka Salomaki (upper body), Rich Clune (suspended), Joe Piskula (lower body), and Garrett Noonan (healthy). The win tonight for the Admirals gives them 30 wins on the season.
Thoughts on the win tonight? What was done differently that earned the result? How is the defense, now healthy with the exception of Piskula, looking to you?