The Milwaukee Admirals lost 3-2 against the Manitoba Moose Tuesday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. It is the second successive defeat to the Moose in Milwaukee this season by a 3-2 scoreline. A depleted Admirals roster did what they could but were unable to capitalize on several power-play opportunities presented to them. They went 1/8 on the power-play tonight in the loss.
“We absolutely gave them all three-goals,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason. “It’s such a frustrating game. They’re a good team. They’ve got good players. And they’re going to earn their chances to score goals. If you give them more chances than they earn then you’re likely not going to have success on that night.”
For the second time this season the lowest scoring offense in the AHL took a 2-0 first period lead in Milwaukee.
The game’s opening goal came off of a neutral zone turnover when a Trevor Murphy outlet pass hit traffic, got in behind him, and sent former-Admiral Matt Halischuk off on a breakaway where he’d score five hole for his second goal of the season. Both times that he has scored have come against the Admirals.
The second tally for the Moose came from a netfront redirect by Thomas Raffl for his first career goal at the AHL level. A hard point shot by Brenden Kichton rifled down through the slot low before getting a piece of Raffl to fool Marek Mazanec in net for a 2-0 first period Moose lead.
The Admirals were handed four power-play chances to work with in the first period. It felt as if the Moose didn’t want the lead with so many penalties taken one after the other. On the third power-play chance a craft piece of passing teed up Max Görtz to score his third goal of the season. Vladislav Kamenev initiated the scoring chance when he sent a quick pass down low in the left wing to Frédérick Gaudreau. From where Gaudreau was stationed he somehow managed to get a pass through traffic to hit Görtz on the opposite wing for a one-timer that Eric Comrie could reach on the post-to-post save attempt.
It didn’t go down as a power-play goal but the Admirals equalized right after another Moose penalty in the second period. Trevor Murphy unloaded a slap shot from the center point and it hit off the leg of Kichton. Comrie sold hard on the Murphy shot and was out of position for the puck rebounding off his own defenseman when Kevin Fiala unleashed a hammer of a shot into the open net to record his second goal of the season.
For the second time in the game a neutral zone puck hop lead to a goal for the Moose. Gaudreau was caught fighting for position in neutral put was pickpocketed by the on-sweeping John Albert who only had Victor Bartley and Marek Mazanec in front of him. Bartley was protecting the pass across for a two-on-one with Matt Fraser on the left wing but Albert held on, shot, and collected his own rebound off Mazanec to score his first goal of the season.
It was already worth noting in the second period with a 3-2 Manitoba Moose lead that they’re best offensive performance in a game was to score three-goals in a game. They had done it six times from seventeen games on the season entering tonight. One of those games includes the previous meeting against the Admirals in Milwaukee.
There was then a gasp of a quick answer goal for the Admirals from Max Reinhart moments after the Moose took the lead. It was instantly waved off. The puck appeared to float up in the air and get deflected by one of a few sticks swinging to knock the puck down. As the replay would show, the officials got the play spot-on as the puck did deflect off of Reinhart’s stick before fluttering into the goal. His stick was well high of the crossbar for a clean cut no goal decision.
With 1:27 left in regulation Mazanec hit the bench to bring the extra attacker on and, following an icing call on the Moose, the Admirals burned their timeout with 1:17. Time would sadly run out in regulation before anything could get done and for the second time this season the Admirals fall to the woeful Moose 3-2 on home ice.
“I thought for zone time we probably had 80-20 to them,” said Victor Bartley. “We did a good job keeping of keeping pucks going low to high and getting them through. Forwards did a good job of sticking behind their defensemen through the neutral zone. And, you know what, we had four or five breakaways which could have changed the game so credit to their goalie for playing as well as he did. We just have to tighten things up and capitalize on our chances.”
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals last played it felt like all the roster moves in the history of ever took place starting on Monday: The Nashville Predators reassigned Juuse Saros to the Admirals, Predators defenseman Victor Bartley cleared waivers and was assigned to the Admirals, the Admirals then reassigned Brandon Whitney and Garrett Noonan to the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL, the Predators recalled Cody Bass Tuesday morning from the Admirals, and that forced the Admirals into signing a former-Admiral in Vinny Saponari to a PTO contract on loan from the Greenville Swamp Rabbits of the ECHL. Tonight’s line combinations were: Fiala-Gaudreau-Görtz, Åberg-Kamenev-Moses, Payerl-Reinhart-Saponari, Devane-Girard-Pendenza, Allen-Oligny
Thoughts on tonight’s game? Does this result have more to do with the Admirals losing bodies left and right or can you tip your cap to the Manitoba Moose? With the Admirals having so many power-play chances and coming up with little results from them – was that the real story of this game?