Good, But Not Good Enough; Ads lose 3-2 in OT

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)
Tonight Mark Van Guilder set the Milwaukee Admirals AHL record for most games played. He scored a goal in the milestone night but, sadly, was on the wrong end of a 3-2 overtime defeat to the San Antonio Rampage. (Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

The Admirals lost 3-2 in overtime on the road against the San Antonio Rampage Wednesday night. Despite generating plenty of offensive chances the Admirals were forced to comeback twice in this game before losing in overtime. It is the Admirals first point gained after losing 5-1 to the Oklahoma City Barons the previous two outings yet there is a feeling that the Ads could just have easily taken the full haul tonight in San Antonio.

After a very tightly defended game the scoring broke open 14:58 into the second period from yet another shorthanded goal allowed by the Admirals. Brett Olson somehow wired a long range wrist shot from the far right wing wall against the grain of Marek Mazanec and up and over his glove side to tally his eleventh goal of the season. It’s the ninth shorthanded goal allowed by the Admirals this season.

The Admirals power-play pressure picked up following the shorthanded goal and, with Jonathan Racine fresh out of the box, the Ads answered right back. Johan Alm was able to secure a keep in on the left point and threw a low shot in on Michael Houser. The puck kicked out right to Mark Van Guilder who scored his eighth goal of the season on his milestone night as he became the Milwaukee Admirals most tenured player in the AHL era of the franchise in tonight’s game.

San Antonio went back out in front with a goal from Dany Heatley in the third period. A great rush through the neutral zone by Jesse Blacker led to a drop off for Heatley who dropped off for the trailing Corban Knight who went forehand to backhand as he passed right back to the net front drive of Heatley. The shot attempt from the veteran sniper was fanned on but the puck went in off of his skate for his first goal since joining the Rampage.

Less than three minutes later the Admirals were able to equalize through Austin Watson’s twentieth goal of the season. Viktor Arvidsson had a slap shot attempt from the left wing faceoff dot but his stick exploded. As the puck rolled down behind the net Watson took a quick swipe on net and managed to bank a shot off of Houser and in. It is Watson’s third consecutive season of scoring twenty or more goals with the Admirals.

It took overtime to decide this game and, sadly, the lone point was all that the Admirals managed to earn tonight. Just eighteen seconds into the overtime period and a great series in attack for the Rampage teed up Blacker for a rifled shot in tight to Mazanec from the left wing and he buried his sixth goal of the season to end this game at 3-2.

There were certainly far more positives than negatives on this night for the Admirals. They mustered up thirty-five shots on Houser and held the Rampage to only twenty four shots on goal. Defensively things were far better than they were as early as last night’s game and it gives them something to build on for this weekend’s games against the Texas Stars.

Ramblings: Tonight’s scratches for the Admirals included Mike Liambas (right-leg laceration), Miikka Salomaki (upper-body), and Jonathan Diaby (healthy).

Thoughts on tonight’s performance? Loss aside, was this a much improved effort by the Admirals than last night? Can you credit this as a solid game by Michael Houser that stifled the Admirals shooters?  Why are the Admirals allowing so many shorthanded goals?

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