The Admirals lost 4-3 in a shootout on the road against the Chicago Wolves Saturday night. Perhaps it would be fitting for the Admirals 2014-15 season finale to have played out the way that it did. The Wolves didn’t have a lead in this contest until Terry Broadhurst’s seventh round shootout attempt beat the glove of Marek Mazanec. A season of high highs and low lows ends with the Admirals on a six-game losing streak to end the year in last place of the Midwest Division.
Rich Clune and Yannick Veilleux did their interpretation of the Wolves pre-game ceremonies via face-punching midway through the first period. It was a really spirited bout as both knocked each other’s hats off before running out of gas in the fight.
Mark Van Guilder was on the receiving end of a rare error by Jordan Binnington to notch his eleventh goal of the season. The Wolves netminder overplayed a puck to the right of his cage in an attempt to paddle a puck behind his net but Zach Budish was directly on him to spin around a pass on the left side for a tap in for Van Guilder to give the Admirals a first period lead.
In the second period the Admirals survived an onslaught of power-play time for the Wolves, including two successive five-on-three chances, only to concede momnts later. Colton Parayko threw a puck towards the front of the net from the right wing half-wall and the shot deflected past Marek Mazanec off of Joe Piskula’s left skate and in for Parayko’s fourth goal of the season.
Fortunately for the Admirals they would regain the lead only fourteen seconds later after yet another brilliant goal scored by Viktor Arvidsson on the season. The Swede flew in from the neutral zone, faked a slap shot from the high right point that froze both a defender and the netminder, swooped behind the net, and snapped home the wrap-around shot for his twenty-second goal of the season.
Unfortunately, the Admirals were burnt with less than ten-seconds remaining in the second period. The Wolves were able to outmaneuver the overlapping Admirals defensive pairing of Garrett Noonan and Anthony Bitetto with Robby Fabbri passing off to Terry Broadhurst’s center lane drive. Broadhurst took that pass first time and beat Mazanec stick side to tally his eighth goal of the season.
It took forty-nine seconds of the third period for the Admirals to regain the lead. Austin Watson worked around the boards and chipped a pass from the left wing wall to Colton Sissons as he broke in with speed towards the net. Sissons was able to skate around Joel Edmundson, get a shot off, and score on his own rebound before Parayko could close him down. The goal for Sissons is his twenty-fifth goal of the season. Per Aaron Sims, he became the first member of the Admirals in the AHL history of the team to start his career off with back-to-back twenty-five goal seasons.
A blunder by Johan Alm led directly to the Wolves equalizing goal less than three minutes after the tally for Sissons. Alm had plenty of space around him at the Admirals attacking blue line but attempted to pass across to Bitetto. Colin Fraser was directly in that passing lane and forced the puck out to center before winning the footrace and burying his breakaway for his ninth goal of the season.
The Admirals season would end after one final dryscrape, four-on-four to three-on-three overtime period, and shootout later. The netminders were solid in the shootout. The forced it to last seven round and only the final attempt was the lone success from the skaters that stepped up. Broadhurst weaved his way in on Mazanec before beating him on a forehand shot to the glove side to finish the game off. The Wolves never lead until claiming victory in the shootout.
This season is officially over and the Milwaukee Admirals 2014-15 campaign ends with a record of 33-28-8-7 (81 points). The way that results shaped out have landed the Admirals in last place of the Midwest Division this season behind the Lake Erie Monsters. The Grand Rapids Griffins officially clinched the division with a Rockford IceHogs loss to the Toronto Marlies tonight.
Ramblings: The Admirals dressed seven defensemen tonight with Joe Pendenza picking up a knock to his left wrist in last night’s home finale. This meant Jimmy Oligny joining the defensive ranks with the fourth line cycling a different center throughout the night. Joining Pendenza as scratches tonight were Felix Girard (out for the season), Miikka Salomaki (out for the season).
With the season over, what are your thoughts on all that transpired? What were the highlights and what were the lowlights? Was this game a microcosm of the last few months for the Admirals?