The Milwaukee Admirals earned a 3-0 shutout on the road against the San Antonio Rampage Friday night at the AT&T Center.
Marek Mazanec didn’t have the busiest of nights in net but he denied all nineteen shots he faced to earn his second shutout for the Admirals this season and sixth of his AHL career. Vladislav Kamenev marked his return to the lineup scoring the game-opening goal which would also prove to be the game-winner tonight. The win for the Admirals snaps a four-game winless skid while the loss for the Rampage is their eleventh straight defeat on home ice.
To start the second period the Rampage had the Admirals pinned and managed to match their first period shot total of six within the opening four minutes of the frame. Unfortunately for them that all meant nothing and Taylor Aronson hit Vladislav Kamenev on a home run pass as he came off the Admirals bench. Kamenev was all alone on a breakaway and snapped a shot over the glove of Roman Will for his seventh goal of the season.
The second period would persist with several chances for the Admirals on the power-play. They had two chances on five-on-three power-play opportunities and went 0/5 from the power-play in the sandwich stanza alone. The last of those five-on-three power-plays came to an end after Maxim Noreau floored Max Reinhart with a standup check upon zone entry which caught the attention of Frédérick Gaudreau who rushed after the Rampage defenseman, started a fight, and picked up an instigator and misconduct for his troubles.
In the third period the penalty troubles for the Rampage finally caught up with them. After a delay of game call sent Duncan Siemens to the box the Admirals notched their first power-play goal of the night from their eighth power-play opportunity. A spectacular keep in by Aronson at the blueline not only prevented a potential two-on-one shorthanded break the other way but pushed the puck over to Kamenev who dished to the open Colton Sissons in front of the net for a rapid fire shot and his fifth goal of the season.
The Rampage did have a chance to make a dent in the Admirals lead when they had a fifty-seven second five-on-three power-play opportunity with 8:11 remaining in regulation. They burned their timeout and wouldn’t come close again.
Shortly removed from their power-play chance Rampage defenseman Maxim Noreau put this game away after an awful turnover deep in his own zone that fell to Adam Payerl who shot and scored past Will immediately. Payerl’s seventh goal of the season made it a 3-0 game with 2:33 remaining in regulation to polish the game off.
Marek Mazanec’s night in net wasn’t the most challenging he’ll experience in his career but he answered the bell when tasked to make saves. In particular, the start to the second period he needed to be big and push aside the pressure that the Rampage brewed up. He got through that and the Admirals scored moments later from a Kamenev that Mazanec managed to get an assist from. That goalie assist makes Mazanec the Admirals all-time AHL points leader from the goaltending position. He was tied with Pekka Rinne with six-assists before notching number seven tonight.
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals last played all the roster moves in the history of planet Earth happened. Kevin Fiala and Cody Bass were recalled by the Nashville Predators. Viktor Arvidsson was reassigned from the Predators to the Admirals and Garrett Noonan was sent from the Admirals to the Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL). Predators placed forward Cody Hodgson on waivers, he cleared waivers, and joined the Admirals. The Predators made two trades that directly impacted the Admirals. Conor Allen was traded to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Patrick Mullen. Victor Bartley was traded to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Stefan Elliot. Bartley was then packaged with NHL All-Star John Scott to the Montreal Canadiens for Jarred Tinordi and Stefan Fournier. Tonight’s line combinations for the Admirals saw the return of many faces and introduction of a couple more: Arvidsson-Sissons-Hodgson, Åberg-Kamenev-Gaudreau, White-Reinhard-Görtz, Devane-Girard-Payerl, Alm-Aronson, Näkyvä-Mullen, Murphy-Oligny. Tonight’s scratches were: Joe Pendenza (healthy), Jonathan Diaby (healthy), Stefan Elliot (yet to join team). This game marked the return to the Admirals lineup for Taylor Aronson after having missed the previous eight-games due to a lower-body injury. The win tonight for the Admirals makes them the first team in the AHL’s Western Conference to reach 50 points this season. Yet, through points percentage, the Admirals are fourth in the Western Conference standings.
How did this Milwaukee Admirals squad look with its new face lift (if you will)? How did Patrick Mullen, Cody Hodgson, Viktor Arvidsson, Vladislav Kamenev, and Taylor Aronson all look in their Admirals debut/return?