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?