Sputtering In Place; Admirals lose 7-2 against Checkers

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)
(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

The Admirals lost by a profound 7-2 against the Charlotte Checkers Friday night. The home opener for the Ads never really manifested itself to be anything other than a Checkers victory. Even the goals scored tonight by the Admirals were last put in by Checkers players. The rough keeps getting rough and the Checkers remain unbeaten from their first three games.

“It’s probably top on the disappointment list,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason in regards to the result of the home opener. “It’s a big list but for sure it is the top of it.”

The opening goal came just past the midway point in the first period. After Conor Allen joined the attacking rush for the Admirals and rang iron from a close range shot – the Checkers were off on a counter attack. Phil Di Giuseppe carried the puck down from the left wing and fed the center lane drive of Derek Ryan who beat Marek Mazanec blocker side to make it a 1-0 Checkers lead. The goal for Ryan was his second of the season.

In the final minute of the first period there was a frenzy around the Checkers net that led to video review. A puck managed to skip in behind Drew MacIntyre and get cleared before any Admirals skater could finish the job. The officials waved it off on the ice, the goal light came on, and people were generally confused. The official call was that MacIntyre was interfered with and for good measure, after a look at the overhead replay, the puck didn’t cross anyway.

After a Miikka Salomäki interference call prematurely ended an Admirals power-play the Checkers were able to tally again. Jake Chelios’ shot from the blueline took a harsh deflection en route to goal thanks to the net front presence of Di Giuseppe. The power-play goal made it a 2-0 Checkers lead on Di Giuseppe’s first goal of the season.

Following Rasmus Rissanen’s second minor penalty of the second period the Admirals hoped to get some momentum brewed up from their fourth power-play opportunity of the night. Patrick Brown was able to win a race down the right wing and wire in a shot off the back post of the net. Play continued on and it wasn’t until an official review that it was determined to be a shorthanded goal from Brown’s first of the season to make it 3-0 Checkers.

Brown would add a second goal for himself in the third period. Chelios did his best T.J. Brennan imitation by flying from defense all the way down the left wing wall before whipping a puck towards the goal mouth. Johnny on the spot was Mr. Brown who tapped home from close range to make it a 4-0 Checkers lead.

The Admirals would score thirty-eight seconds later to finally give the opening night fans something to cheer about. Salomäki skated behind a pack of four bodies before releasing a wrister from the left wing faceoff dot. MacIntyre made the initial save with the glove but the puck flew out to the net defending Chelios who botched his clearance attempt by scoring on his own goaltender. Salomäki, having last played the puck, was credited with the goal and ended a goal scoring drought of 55:14 dating back to Vladislav Kamenev’s shorthanded goal scored on the opener of the regular season in Chicago.

Past the midway point of the third period Cody Bass had a goal disallowed after a quick whistle bailed out MacIntyre in net. Bass scored five hole with ease but the whistle was ruled to have been blown prior to the goal. In the aftermath and confusion Kyle Hagel and Jonathan Diaby locked horns in a fight for the Admirals that might have come two periods too late. Decent enough noogie tilt but nothing more.

Following some jaw jacking, Bass and David Wohlberg were both sent to the box for two-minutes to open up the ice for four-on-four hockey. Similar to their first goal of the evening the Admirals had a Checkers defenseman to thank. Taylor Aronson’s shot from the right point was saved by MacIntyre but pushed aside into the path of Trevor Carrick and into his own net. Aronson’s first goal of the season cut the lead to 4-2.

The Admirals then decided to immediately go for the empty net and extra attacker. Danny Biega’s response to the move was a long range shot for the empty net goal. Going for absolute broke the Admirals emptied the net again – and Brendan Woods scored into the empty net. Captain Colton Sissons got into some rough stuff with seconds left in the game and worked himself up for a two-minute penalty for roughing and a misconduct. The Checkers decided to tag Mazanec for a last power-play goal with 1.5 seconds remaining after Erik Karlsson’s first goal of the season.

“I can’t say much more than it’s been very frustrating so far,” said Colton Sissons. “We’re not folding our cards yet. We’ve got a lot of time, we’re going to stay positive, stick together, get through this, and get better every day.”

Ramblings: Yesterday, defensemen Garrett Noonan and Jimmy Oligny were assigned to the Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL). In news that will help Elite Prospects out – Dov Grumet-Morris was released from his PTO contract with the Admirals quite some time ago. Tonight’s lines were: Salomäki-Sissons-Fiala, Moses-Reinhart-Görtz, Åberg-Kamenev-Bass, Devane-Girard-Gaudreau, Allen-Näkyvä, Diaby-Aronson, and
Alm-Murphy.

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10 thoughts on “Sputtering In Place; Admirals lose 7-2 against Checkers”

  1. Sloppy play, not enough shots on net. Can’t score if you don’t shoot. The most life was the Diaby fight in the 3rd. This team is young and has some talent, but it has to gel and FAST. With the California, teams playing 8 fewer games and playoff seeding (although a long way off) based on percentage wins need to start coming. I recognize this is game 2 and the season just started, but if you look just at the Checkers 3-0, it’s not too early to fall behind.

  2. I blame that terrible “Hall of Fame” intro music! That intro was starting to lull me to sleep before the game even started!!! In an seriousness, I think we’re in for a long season. I know it’s only the second game, but I didn’t see anything that made me think tonight was just a bad night. What I did see was just a bunch of terrible hockey. Nice to see the power play picked up right where they left off!

  3. The game was closer than the final score would indicate. Milwaukee had 2 disallowed goals. The first one looked good and I never saw any overhead view. The goal judge turned the red light on, so he thought it was a goal. The puck looked like it came down behind the goal line on edge before Drew got a glove on it. The second one should have counted, but the idiot ref blew the whistle when I could plainly see the puck on the ice. I don’t know why he couldn’t see it.

    The first disallowed goal would have made the game 1-1 in the first period. The second disallowed goal (Ads third) would have resulted in a 4-4 game when the Admirals scored at 17:08 of the third period. After that, the wheels came off.

    Charlotte controlled the neutral zone the whole game. The Admirals spent the first period passing the puck behind their teammates. Too many new guys this season and they aren’t on the same page as yet. The Ads were too cute with the puck in the O zone. They needed more shots.

    The refs were incompetent and at times didn’t seem to know the rules. They messed up on THREE goals in the game, but did get Brown’s goal correct after the replay. I gave them a “D”. Only thing saving the entire crew from a “F” was #90 Ryan Daisy. He did well. #11 was bad the whole game, blowing a few offside calls. One of those was booed by the alert crowd. Girard was mugged every other shift the entire game, but no calls were made on Charlotte. At times, some Charlotte players acted like it was Slap Shot and the refs let them get away with it every time. They gooned it up after both disallowed goals.

    Sissons roughing penalty at the end of the game came from the Charlotte center holding him after the faceoff and not letting go. Sissons elbowed the guy in the teeth 3 or 4 times, but the Checker hung on as Sissons tried to skate away. By that time, the crowd didn’t care anymore, unlike at the end of the second period when they lustily booed the Admirals lack of effort and results.

    The worst player of the game for Milwaukee was Kevin Fiala (-4). He skated slowly and trailed the play on his line. He singlehandedly killed the power play tonight. I would send him down to Cincinnati for a week to get his game together. He played no defense. He was useless out there!

    Maz had no chance on the first and forth goals, which were the same play. If he closed his wide open legs, Maz could have stopped the second goal, but he never moved. Seventh goal was a perfect shot into the far lower corner. Maz had some rebounds but didn’t get a lot of help from his D-men, especially Diaby.

  4. Mark: That intro music was sort of, “…mmkay.” Which for the first time hearing it probably means that will grind me down very quickly or I’ll just phase out the intro very quickly. Sad… yet still better than that “Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends” corniness.

    adsfan: I agree with most of what you’re saying. Lone thing I would say though is the first “disallowed goal” wasn’t a goal anyways. The refs still reviewed it and the puck never crossed. I think the more nagging one is the quick whistle to rule out Bass’ goal though. Refs were pretty consistent with the whistle when goalies were covering pucks… but I don’t know why they felt the need to ASAP blow the whistle the instant second they didn’t see the puck. That was poor for me. I can sort of get why you blow the whistle if you’re not seeing the puck but not the instant that thought creeps in your head. Might have done the Admirals a world of good to get that goal… or it could have still been a lopsided result like it turned out to be.

  5. adsfan, they did show a replay of the first disallowed goal on the jumbotron and they showed the overhead cam view as well. It clearly didn’t go in.

    Aside from the spurts of great control in the offensive zone, I thought it appeared no one was playing together. We had lots of one-man efforts going on which caused us to not being able to get anything set up. I still have hope since it’s only game 2. We shall see…

  6. hopefully they get things going soon don’t wanna put yourself in a big hole very early in the season

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