The Admirals won 6-3 against the Lake Erie Monsters Wednesday afternoon. This was the Admirals inaugural school day game and saw an attendance of 11,047 students hit the rink for a 10:30 AM puck drop. They were treated to a quick start for the Admirals who opened up a three goal lead in the first period and never looked back.
“I think it is absolutely awesome,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason of the school day game. “The one in Iowa was incredible. The kids were screaming. It gets so loud. It creates such a wonderful atmosphere. It’s fun for the players to play and it’s fun for us.”
Pontus Åberg opened the scoring in the first period with his second goal scored on the season. The Swede made a heads up defensive play in the neutral zone as he intercepted a pass to set up his own scoring chance. He carried on down the right wing before unleashing a wrist shot against the grain to beat Anton Forsberg far post and blocker side.
After a few missed blind passes the Admirals kept pressing on and found a second first period goal. Adam Payerl entered the attacking zone and left the puck behind him where the on-rushing Trevor Murphy was racing up from defense. A quick swoop towards the left wing, with Jamie Devane setting up in front of the net, allowed for a great shooting angle and Murphy ripped a wrister high blocker side past Forsberg to score his second goal of the season and second in as many games.
Perhaps after being beat blocker side twice in the first period the Monsters netminder Forsberg was being a little protective of his right side of the cage. As Vladislav Kamenev moved up the right wing wall and passed up on the right point for Taylor Aronson the Admirals would answer for the third time in the opening frame. Aronson’s long range wrister beat the glove of Forsberg to pick up his second goal of the season.
At the start of the second period it was announced that Forsberg had been pulled from the Monsters net. In stepped Finnish netminder Joonas Korpisalo to face what was left of an Admirals power-play that trickled over into the start of the sandwich stanza. A mere thirty-eight seconds and a few passes later the Admirals would beat the new goaltender. Max Görtz was on the tail end of some quick passes to score from the slot high glove for his second goal of the season.
With a four-on-four taking place the Monsters picked up their first goal of the game eight minutes into the second period. Alex Broadhurst was in the right wing pocket and picked out a wide open Michael Chaput breaking in on goal. The pass connected and it was a crisp finish for Chaput’s fifth goal of the season.
It wouldn’t take long at all for the Monsters to cut the Admirals lead in half. Payerl was whistled for a hooking minor as he was being a little overly aggressive in the attacking zone for the Admirals. Only seven seconds into the Monsters power-play and Markus Hännikäinen scored his third goal of the season with 11:01 remaining in the second period to make it
Just because there were mainly school children in attendance doesn’t mean a good ol’ fashion fight isn’t allowed to take place. After Justin Falk lit up Kamenev into the glass his Admirals linemate Payerl was quick to make Falk answer for his crime. The fight, while fists were thrown, was more of a wrestling match with the two grapping at the collars of one-another.
In the third period, moments after failing to convert on their sixth power-play opportunity of the game, the Admirals and their Swedish winger Åberg were on the board once more. Payerl sent a puck loose behind the net where Kevin Fiala got up on his high-horse and raced a wrap-around attempt on Korpisalo off his glove side of the net. The loose puck trickled out and over to Åberg for a quick smack home for his second goal of the game and third of the season.
“Four games in a row we’re playing really good right now,” said Pontus Åberg after the game. “Sticking up for each other and just playing a solid game. It’s nice to have in a group.”
Fiala would get tagged with a double minor for charging and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty with 8:38 remaining in the third period. There were goals for both teams on each of the minor penalties. A solid piece of defensive work by Frédérick Gaudreau on the penalty kill jarred a puck loose and allowed him to tee up a quick snipe for Max Reinhart to score shorthanded. It was Reinhart’s third goal of the season. Moments later on the second half of the double minor against Fiala a tic-tac-toe passing play gave Sonny Milano a power-play goal to make it a 6-3 contest off of his second goal of the season.
With nineteen seconds remaining Brett Gallant attempted to take a run at Fiala and succeeded with a check to the head. This caught the eye of Cody Bass who dropped the gloves and went after Gallant for their second fight in six days. It was once more a grappling based bout but the message was sent. As was the subsequent repeat fight between Jamie Devane and Oleg Yevenko that took place directly on the next faceoff out of the penalties being added up from the previous altercation.
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals last played there were a few roster moves made: Marek Mazanec and Colton Sissons were recalled by the Nashville Predators as both Carter Hutton and Eric Nystrom were placed on injured reserve. Sissons played in last night’s Predators game and took home first star of the game honors while scoring his second career NHL goal. With Sissons topside the additional alternate captain on the ice was Max Reinhart. This morning the Admirals released Adam Payerl from his PTO contract and signed him to a standard player contract that will keep him with the team for the rest of the 2015-16 season. Today’s line combinations were: Arvidsson-Gaudreau-Görtz, Åberg-Kamenev-Payerl, Devane-Girard-Moses, Fiala-Reinhart-Bass, Näkyvä-Aronson, Allen-Oligny, Alm-Murphy. Admirals roster today was bare bones meaning there weren’t excess players outside of the lineup to necessitate a scratch. Today’s official attendance was 12,972.
Reactions to this game? Were you in attendance for this game and, if so, what did you think of the Admirals first ever school day game? What did you think of Kevin Fiala’s extracurricular activities today?