The Milwaukee Admirals won 4-1 against the Chicago Wolves Monday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
This game started more than thirty-minutes late due to the weather impeding the Chicago Wolves travel. Once things finally got started the Admirals took the lead fast and really controlled the action from start to finish to claim their fourth-straight win.
“It doesn’t matter of it’s a 10:30 (AM) game, it doesn’t matter if it’s a night game, or afternoon game. When the puck is dropped our group has been ready to play,” commented Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason after the game. “It’s a credit to the group – the leadership within the room. [The delay] had no effect.”
This game wouldn’t officially start until after 7:35 PM due to a travel delay that impeded the Chicago Wolves from arriving to the building on schedule. Thankfully, the Wolves’ minds might have still been on the bus because just past two-minutes into this game the Admirals were on the board. An Admirals keep in along the blue line was forced up towards Max Görtz in the high slot and the Swede smacked a backhander through net front traffic and on towards Jordan Binnington. The puck hit off Matt White’s stick and dropped down in front of Félix Girard who was able to get the puck past Binnington after collecting his own rebound to score his fourth goal of the season.
It looked to be a really short fight but it wasn’t penalized that way. Jamie Devane and Cody Beach got into it after a big hit by Beach in front of the Admirals bench. Devane landed a solid shot that appeared to hurt Beach bad enough to put him on his wallet. Devane was given a double minor for roughing while Beach went down towards the Wolves locker room tunnel with a single rough minor. The Admirals penalty kill off of this incident didn’t allow a shot on goal.
Sadly, as great as the Admirals penalty kill was, the Wolves scored moments after their power-play expired to level the game at 1-1. Evan Trupp undressed Kristian Näkyvä out of his skates with a great deke out of the left wing pocket. After getting past Näkyvä – Trupp was able to lay off a pass for Yannick Veilleux who scored on a backhander over the glove of Juuse Saros for his seventh goal of the season.
Less than a minute later the Admirals were back out in front with a first period lead. Conor Allen jumped up into the attack from the blueline, carried the puck deep around Binnington’s net, and froze four Wolves players in the process. All the burgundy sweaters sat back and watched as Allen’s pass before going behind the cage went square to Görtz as he was all alone between the faceoff circles. His forehander beat Binnington on the glove side for the Swede’s sixth goal of the season.
The second period finally saw the Admirals get a power-play opportunity. Not only that, but it saw their captain mark his return to Milwaukee with a goal. A fantastic tic-tac-toe passing play went Frédérick Gaudreau in the low right wing, to Kevin Fiala in the trapezoid, to Colton Sissons low right wing faceoff circle with a one-time blast past Binnington to score his fourth goal of the season. It was Sissons first game back with the Admirals since 11/24/15 when he scored a goal on home ice against the San Antonio Rampage.
“It’s just business as usual,” said Admirals team captain Colton Sissons of his return to the AHL. “It’s just hockey. No matter if I’m up in Nashville in the NHL or down here. I don’t try to change anything about my game I just kind of do my thing. It usually works out if I don’t get too worked up no matter what situation I’m in.”
During the third period, Jacob Doty was whistled down for a holding minor when Joe Pendenza raced past him on offensive zone entry down the right wing. This gave the Admirals yet another power-play chance and another which they’d cash in from. Fiala stickhandled off the right wing wall and into the faceoff circle. Chris Butler was stuck in place. Binnington was caught being mesmerized. And Fiala snapped a shot high glove for his fifth goal of the season.
With all said and done the young Finnish goaltender collected yet another win to his name this season. Saros has won eleven of his last twelve starts and has thirteen wins on the season. He stopped 35/36 tonight in net for the Admirals to help secure the 4-1 win.
Ramblings: Prior to tonight’s game the Nashville Predators activated Mike Fisher from injured reserve and reassigned Colton Sissons to the Milwaukee Admirals. Vladislav Kamenev scored a goal in Russia’s 6-4 win over the host country Finland today in the second game of the group stage in the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. Tonight’s game was delayed thirty-five minutes due to a travel delay for the Chicago Wolves. Tonight’s line combinations were: Fiala-Sissons-Gaudreau, Åberg -Reinhart-Payerl, White-Girard-Görtz, Devane-Pendenza-Larraza, Allen-Oligny, Näkyvä-Alm, Noonan-Bartley. Tonight’s scratches were: Trevor Murphy (upper-body), Taylor Aronson (lower-body), Vinny Saponari (healthy), and Cody Bass (upper-body). Tonight’s attendance, despite the awful weather, was a rowdy 4,443 – who were all rewarded with special vouchers to attend an Admirals game for free later this season as a ‘Thank You’ for putting up with the weather and start time delay.
Thoughts on tonight’s game? Were you able to attend this game? How great did Colton Sissons look in his first game back with the Admirals?