The Admirals lost 3-1 on the road against the Grand Rapids Griffins Friday night. Despite a solid effort for the Admirals it is yet another game on this road trip where a mistake came back to haunt them. The Griffins had a late power-play and scored with under two minutes remaining to see the Admirals off on their season long six game road trip with a record of 1-4-1-0. I imagine that bus can’t get from Grand Rapids to Milwaukee fast enough.
Joe Pendenza scored his eighth goal of the season to kick off the scoring in the first period. Austin Watson’s work on the forecheck was key as he freed up a puck, passed to the low right wing faceoff circle, and allowed Pendenza to get a quick shot off in a prime scoring position. Tom McCollum made the initial save on Pendenza’s shot but the puck flipped up and off of his back and in for the goal.
With 1:38 remaining in the first period the Griffins were able to level the game at 1-1. Andreas Athanasiou broke down the right wing, cut across Jimmy Oligny, and then passed off to Martin Frk on the opposite wing for the one-timed finish. It was an impressive shot for Frk. The Athanasiou pass was skipping the entire way and alluded the intercept of Taylor Aronson before getting to the tape of Frk who scored his fourth goal of the season.
The game wouldn’t get another goal until late in the third period and it would turn out to be the game-winner. With 3:12 remaining, Johan Alm flipped a puck up into the stands and was called for a delay of game. Then, with 1:57 remaining in regulation, Athanasiou hammered a slap shot low along the ice that had enough force on it to keep on motoring through the wickets of Hellberg and slide in. It was Athanasiou’s fourteenth goal of the season.
The Admirals emptied their net and brought on the extra attacker at the 1:30 mark. Yet, Kevin Porter was able to jar loose a puck off of Kevin Fiala on the high right point off of a faceoff win for the Admirals. Porter proceeded to race down and throw in the empty net tally from the Admirals blueline to close this game at 3-1 on Porter’s twelfth goal of the season.
There can certainly be finger wagging after a game like this. Truth be told, the Admirals played an outstanding game. As has been the story of this road trip though it was a mistake that overshadowed the great effort produced by the Admirals. The Griffins went 0/2 on the power-play in the first period. They were then given a chance late in the game and capitalized off of it. The Admirals on the other hand went 0/5 on the power-play tonight and have a current run of 0/29 over its last eight games. Mistakes get punished. The Admirals missed their chance to do so tonight. And the Griffins late power-play gave them all they needed to steal a game from the Admirals tonight.
Ramblings: Prior to tonight’s game the Nashville Predators recalled Viktor Arvidsson under emergency conditions. In addition, the Milwaukee Admirals signed Dartmouth right winger Eric Robinson to an ATO contract. Tonight’s scratches for the Admirals were Felix Girard (upper body) and Jonathan Diaby (healthy). The win tonight for the Griffins extended their current point streak to nineteen games, 15-0-3-1. The Admirals, with results from yesterday and today, are now seated seventh in the Western Conference behind the Texas Stars.
Despite the result, are you pleased by the performance that the Admirals put in tonight against the Griffins? What is the problem with the power-play? Are you getting worried about the Admirals playoff chances at the moment?