The Milwaukee Admirals won a 3-0 shutout on the road against the Iowa Wild Thursday afternoon. For the first time all season the Admirals were able to earn a two-goal cushion. And, for the first time in his career, Juuse Saros picked up a shutout as a member of the Admirals.
Following a successful opening stint on the penalty kill the Admirals were able to flip the script and get on the power-play thanks to a good hustle play from Max Reinhart that put Maxime Fortunus in the box for interference. Pontus Åberg would take this chance to score on the power-play for his first goal of the season. Max Görtz was able to tee up his fellow Swede as he sat in the slot and Åberg beat Jeremy Smith high blocker side.
In the second period the Admirals were able to do something that they haven’t been able to do all season: get a two goal lead. A delay of game penalty against Wild defenseman Zach Palmquist put the Admirals on the man-advantage. Viktor Arvidsson hammered a shot pass to the backdoor where Frédérick Gaudreau was able to put in his second goal of the season. Both goals scored by Gaudreau on the season have come on the power-play.
The Wild would get their best scoring chance of the game in the third period off of a deer in headlights play by Kristian Näkyvä. The Finnish defenseman was passing a puck out from behind his net blindly and found a wide open Christoph Bertschy directly above the slot. The shot missed and, only a few moments later, the Admirals would score goal number three. Eric Robinson would tally his first AHL goal of the season after a backhanded swat it front of Smith. Robinson, Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL) stats included, now has four goals from five games to start his 2015-16 season.
That would be all she wrote in the game. Tip your cap to Milwaukee Admirals netminder Juuse Saros who picked up his first career AHL shutout this afternoon. He wasn’t tasked with much but he came up big when the Wild brought some pressure to his goal crease. He stopped all twenty-three shots he faced. The Wild have been shutout in three of their last four games and four times this season.
Ramblings: Since the last time the Milwaukee Admirals played they recalled forward Eric Robinson from his loan assignment with the Admirals ECHL affiliate the Cincinnati Cyclones. The line combinations used today were: Arvidsson-Sissons-Fiala, Görtz-Reinhart-Bass, Åberg-Gaudreau-Payerl, Devane-Girard-Robinson, Alm-Bitetto, Näkyvä-Aronson, Allen-Oligny. Today’s scratches were all healthy: Stevie Moses, Trevor Murphy, and Vladislav Kamenev. Moses missed today’s game due to a violation of team rules and did not join the Admirals on their trip to Iowa. It was the the fourth consecutive game in which Murphy was listed as a scratch. Kamenev was completing the final game of his two game suspension for his boarding incident on 10/29/15. Following a turnover on the power-play that resulted in a shorthanded breakaway for Brett Sutter – Kevin Fiala was benched by the Admirals six minutes into the first period and never returned to the game. The attendance of today’s game was an Iowa Wild record of 11,503 fans – predominantly school kids attending.
Reactions to today’s game? Is this the Admirals finally coming together as a team or the Admirals getting the jump on a slumping team in the Iowa Wild? What are your feelings as it related to the Admirals coaching staff benching Fiala for a turnover in the first period and their recent actions that sees the likes of Åberg, Görtz, and Moses all scratched and left behind as the team travels to road games without them for violating team rules? Is the correct message being sent by the coaching staff to the players by doing that?