Admirals Complete Monster Comeback; win 3-2 in OT

(Photo Credit: Lake Erie Monsters // flickr)

Calvin Pickard made the best save in the AHL this season. And the Admirals still found a way to solve him late to get back into the win column. (Photo Credit: Lake Erie Monsters // flickr)

The Admirals won a 3-2 overtime thriller on the road against the Lake Erie Monsters Wednesday night. The Admirals trailed 2-0 entering the third period against a goaltender in Calvin Pickard who was razor sharp tonight for the Monsters. Triston Grant, Gary Steffes, and a monumental penalty kill helped push this game into overtime for the Admirals where Kevin Fiala’s heroics snapped the six-game losing streak.

It was a decent enough opening road period for the Admirals but with just 8.8 seconds remaining the Monsters tagged Marek Mazanec for the game’s first goal. After negating an icing call, Monsters winger Michael Schumacher was able to throw a wrist shot low on the Czech netminder before Taylor Aronson could get a stick check on him. The low shot hit off Mazanec’s pads and into the path of Trevor Cheek who scored five hole on the rebound for his sixth goal of the season.

The second period started with a “Save of the Year” candidate from Lake Erie’s Calvin Pickard. The Admirals had their top line out on the ice to start the period and Kevin Fiala had all the net in the world to shoot on when the puck slid over to him on the low right wing circle. Pickard made a lunging dive out of desperation and made the glove save to rob Fiala.

Reid Petryk would score his third goal of the season just prior to the midway point of the game to make it a 2-0 Monsters lead. Petryk managed to fend off Anthony Bitetto from the blueline and whipped in a wrist shot from the high slot that went straight into the roof of the net past Mazanec.

The Admirals were finally able to solve Pickard 2:07 into the third period to make it a one-goal contest. Mark Van Guilder battle off Cheek on the end boards to wrap around a puck to the front of the net where Triston Grant was able to bury his twelfth goal of the season. This matches a career mark in goal scoring for Grant who tallied twelve goals during the 2009-10 season.

With 5:19 remaining in regulation the Admirals completed their third period comeback to make it a 2-2 game. Joe Piskula’s shot from the middle of the blueline knuckled up on Pickard who spilled a rebound out to Gary Steffes who settled the puck and fired for his third goal of the season in the AHL and first scored at even strength.

Then, only fifty-four seconds after equalizing, came a moment of controversy for the Admirals. Viktor Arvidsson made a hard drive from the right wing in on goal and ran through the Monsters netminder Pickard. He was given a charging major and a game misconduct that put the Monsters on the power-play for the rest of regulation and thirty-five second of overtime.

Fortunately for the Admirals, their penalty killing late in the game was up to the task to end the night a perfect 3/3 on the PK while killing nine minutes worth of power-play time.

Kevin Fiala was chosen to take a seat in the penalty box to serve the final seconds of Arvidsson’s charging major for the start of overtime. Once he exited the box he and his teammates were on an odd-man counter from the blueline. Fiala entered on the puck from the left wing, dangled past a stick check, and wired a wrister off the toe drag for the game-winner and his tenth goal scored for the Admirals this season. The Admirals losing streak of six-games is over.

Ramblings: Prior to the game, the Nashville Predators reassigned Viktor Arvidsson to the Milwaukee Admirals. Tonight’s scratches for the Admirals were Joe Pendenza (healthy), Eric Robinson (healthy), and Jimmy Oligny (healthy). The Admirals allowed twenty shots on goal in the second period. It was the most they’ve allowed in a single period this season. The Chicago Wolves defeated the Toronto Marlies 2-1 in regulation tonight. Therefore the standings remain as such.

What is your reaction to this Admirals game? How up, down, and around was this game? Were the officials right to give Arvidsson a major and a game misconduct? How huge was this win for overall confidence moving forward?

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9 Responses to Admirals Complete Monster Comeback; win 3-2 in OT

  1. adsfan says:

    I need to see the video to judge the Arvidsson penalty. This may be the game where the Admirals turned their season around. They did get 3 of 4 points in Cleveland, better than usual! They need to nearly win out because other teams have 2 or 3 games in hand.

  2. Toasted Whole Grain says:

    Woah! Fiala with a little taunting after that OT GWG! Maybe he was getting it all game from the LE player? That was real interesting. Looked like Captain Joe told him to calm it down right when they met as Fiala was skating backwards! Anyways, as for the W, I like it and I love it and I wan’t some more of it.

  3. SmoothJazZ85 says:

    need 2 points tonight and got it done hopefully teams behind us lose a couple

  4. Gail says:

    And once again we make SportsCenter top 10. Thanks for Pickard’s great save from Fiala’s shot. Maybe one of these days we’ll make it for something our players do. Great win!!

  5. To say this was the most important win of the season is an understatement. This game may have saved the season and might be the one we look back on as the game that sent the Admirals back to the playoffs, and kept the franchise’s incredible AHL postseason streak alive.

    For the last few weeks, Milwaukee has routinely snatched a loss from the Jaws of victory. Last night they finally did the opposite. Talk about a cruel April Fool’s joke, against a Lake Erie on the fringes of being eliminated from playoff contention. Then Fiala added a little insult to injury to boot.

    Now to the Bad News: Every other team in the chase has games in hand on Milwaukee. The good news? Milwaukee still plays Chicago twice, Texas (on Saturday) and Toronto. The Admirals don’t quite control their own destiny, but decent stretch run hockey should be enough for another playoff berth.

  6. Steve C says:

    That site is now updated. We essentially need 87 points to ensure a 90% change of making the playoffs. If we finish 4-2-0 or 3-1-2 our chance drops to around 75%. Anything lower than 8 points, our chances drop to below 50%. The numbers on that site are pretty interesting to look at.

    We play the teams we’re fighting for a spot with to end the season, so it’s actually all in our hands. We do control our own destiny, assuming we win out. Otherwise, we’ll be looking for help…

  7. Steve C says:

    On a side note, has anyone heard anymore about the AHL schedule for next year? Today they announced the new San Jose franchise, San Jose Barracuda. Just like the other newly annouced West franchises, they show their season ticket packages for next year including 34 home games….

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