The Admirals lost 3-2 in overtime against the Chicago Wolves on the road Saturday night. Once more, it was a good effort for the Admirals and one that saw them fight hard late to earn a point. Despite their efforts the Admirals Killer that is Jeremy Welsh buzz sawed them once more and the Admirals have now lost five straight games with only one win from their previous eleven contests.
It was the Admirals scoring a shorthanded goal to open up the scoring tonight. Joe Pendenza jarred a puck loose while battling at center ice with Petteri Lindbohm. When the puck was sent free Rich Clune gathered it up and broke in all alone for a breakaway. He fired a wrist shot that went underneath the blocker arm of Matt Climie and in for his sixth goal of the season and second scored shorthanded.
The Wolves neglected quite a few opportunities to drop the gloves last night. In fact, that’s the main reason why Clune referred to them as a soft hockey club at the beginning of the season. There would be fight majors handed out in the first period after a heavyweight bout between Scott Ford and Jacob Doty. Both threw some powerful overhand rights mixed with left jabs. I’d give the edge in the fight card to Doty who knocked the veteran Admiral defenseman’s lid off and was stood tall when the officials came to stop the fight.
Ty Rattie continued his hot run of late by recording his twentieth goal of the season in the closing minutes of the first period. A strong rush into the zone put the Admirals defense into a scramble while the Wolves started setting up shop. Brendan Bell stepped up from the left point and threw a puck low towards the net and it ricocheted out into the right wing where Rattie was sitting and waiting. Magnus Hellberg tried to make a Superman save out of desperation as he slid from post to post but he never had a chance on the quick release shot from Rattie.
Jeremy Welsh and Adam Cracknell continued where they left off last night against the Admirals in the second period. Welsh spearheaded a rush through Gary Steffes and Colton Sissons in the neutral zone before losing the handle off the puck. The unfortunate pinballing that would take place landed the puck in line for the oncoming Cracknell who ripped a shot by the glove of Hellberg. It was Cracknell’s third goal against the Admirals this weekend and seventh on the season.
From that goal onwards the Admirals offensive pressure was relentless. They outshot the Wolves 10-5 in the second period and 13-4 in the third period. That pressure was rewarded when a turnover in the Wolves defensive zone was wristed from the right wing wall by Zach Budish into the top shelf past the glove of Climie to tie the game with 2:57 remaining in regulation. The goal was Budish’s sixth of the season.
This game went to overtime and nearly ended immediately when a Wolves turnover set Gary Steffes off on a breakaway. Steffes shot was stopped by a left pad save from Climie. The turnaround and momentum quickly bit the Admirals. A shot by Joel Edmundson from the right point took a harsh deflection from Rattie. Hellberg was anticipating the initial Edmundson shot but it trickled away towards the left wing where Jeremy Welsh smacked in the loose puck for the game winner. It is Welsh’s seventeenth goal of the season. His Admiral Killer status continues. And he has scored seven of his seventeen goals on the season against Milwaukee.
Ramblings: Prior to tonight’s game the Nashville Predators reassigned Kevin Fiala to the Milwaukee Admirals. With last night’s announcement from Admirals head coach Dean Evason that Felix Girard will miss the rest of this season it meant that tonight’s scratches were both healthy: Frederick Gaudreau and Jonathan Diaby. With the results as they stand tonight, the Admirals have fallen from seventh to eighth place in the Western Conference standings.
Thoughts on tonight’s game? Did the Admirals deserve better than this tonight considering their performance? Does this game still have the potential to lift them heading into the upcoming road games against the Lake Erie Monsters?