As far as game summaries are concerned this should be the very ugly duckling of the bunch. I wasn’t able to make the trip to Chicago to catch the Milwaukee Admirals last pre-season exhibition game and outside coverage was just about limited to the Chicago Wolves Game Ops Twitter feed. Rather than divvy up the retweets alone and scoreline on Facebook let’s get some more information across.
After the Admirals played on Friday night head coach Dean Evason was insistent that Marek Mazanec would start Saturday’s game and that there would be some changes to the lineup. Here is what the Admirals played on Friday night:
And here is what the Admirals rolled out for Saturday night in Chicago:
The Admirals decided to put Kevin Fiala and Taylor Aronson into the lineup while giving Miikka Salomäki and Conor Allen the night off. Mazanec did in fact get the start in net but would only play the opening two periods, stopping 14/14 shots on goal, before Brandon Whitney took over for the third period and the eventual overtime.
As for the game itself? It seemed defensively sound through the opening two frames. It took until there were fifty-seven seconds remaining in the second period before David Moss scored the game’s first goal. After that? All bets were off from the third period onward and six goals were scored between the two teams. Goals in order of appearance: Pat Cannone, Adam Payerl, Zach O’Brien, Max Reinhart, and -with less than a minute remaining in regulation- Jordan Schmaltz.
The game was all tied at 3-3 due to the last gasp goal for the Wolves. The game would go to 3-v-3 overtime where Fiala’s talents got the job done and saw the Admirals take two wins from two exhibition matches in two days.
Scoreline alone, you get the impression that this game might not have had the same level of ‘control’ as the Admirals appeared to play with against the Rockford IceHogs. My attitude without even seeing any of the goals is – good. The reason for these exhibition games is to get a good test of personnel on the ice and to see some areas that could need improvement right away. While winning is always nice – the final scoreline result really doesn’t mean anything in pre-season. What’s more important is the individual efforts being put on display to see who is delivering and can earn their place for opening night of the regular season. It was only two games but that should hold the team over pretty well until the season starts next weekend.
Practice this week should be targeted at some of the faults that these exhibition games may have exposed either individually or as a team. I’m hoping to once again make it in for some practices and can guarantee that I’ll be on hand for Media Day this Thursday. That should be a day in which the 2015-16 team captains are revealed. It should also be a good day to get as many player interviews as possible.
Did you make the trip down to Chicago for last night’s game? If so, this is where the term Roundtable means everything because you’re as much a part of the conversation as me writing what I just did. Please write a comment below and give me all your thoughts and insights below. Would be really interested in how everyone looked, how good the goals were when scored by the Admirals, and how bad the goals allowed by the Admirals in the third period were.