The Milwaukee Admirals won 6-3 on the road against the San Antonio Rampage Saturday night at the AT&T Center.
A dominant opening period by the Admirals overwhelmed the Rampage and set the stage for a whooping. This weekend set in San Antonio was well needed for the Admirals and to cap it off Pontus Åberg recorded the second hat trick for the team this season.
It was very apparent last night that the Admirals speed advantage left the Rampage chasing for much of the contest. Tonight, the Admirals only really needed the first period to lay down their authority. Last night’s game ended 3-0. Tonight’s first period ended 4-0.
The Admirals opening goal came less than two-minutes into the game when Matt White smacked home his fifth goal of the season after a great fake slap shot turned pass by Max Görtz set him up. This was followed up with a howitzer of a one-timed shot by Pontus Åberg on the Admirals first power-play opportunity of the night to push their lead out to 2-0. The man to dish up the one-timer to Åberg was Stefan Elliott who made his Milwaukee Admirals debut tonight.
Vladislav Kamenev’s return to the North American ice has looked great and that carried into his second game since rejoining the Admirals lineup from the 2016 IIHF World Juniors. The Russian recorded his second goal in as many games to give the Admirals a 3-0 lead from his eight goal of the season. This goal ended the night in net for Rampage goaltender Spencer Martin who stopped 3/6 shots on goal from 12:41 of ice time.
With Martin out the Rampage looked to lean on last night’s starter Roman Will. Yet, another Admirals power-play meant Will’s introduction was a bit of a harsh one. Just as Sam Henley was exiting the box after having served his roughing minor the Admirals lit up Will to make it a 4-0 game at 17:24 of the first period. Max Reinhart made an incredible backhanded pass from his knees to pick out Åberg in the slot to score his second goal of the frame.
In the second period the Admirals made good on yet another power-play opportunity. Cody Hodgson delivered a hard shot to the net and received a deflection from the net-front presence of Colton Sissons. The goal for the Admirals captain was his sixth of the season.
Sadly, the weekend shutout bid for the Admirals came to an end after a successful power-play from the Rampage. Maxim Noreau was able to cheat up from the blueline and into the slot to get a puck past Juuse Saros and score his sixth goal of the season. It was the first goal allowed by the Admirals in 90:37 of ice time.
As the second period was ending Trevor Murphy and Colin Smith came together around the penalty box area and decided it would be a good time to start a fight. In a season series that has already seen Jamie Devane knock Daniel Maggio out cold this is yet another fight that saw an Admiral combatant win big. Both had lost their helmets in the initial exchanges but it was Murphy that uncorked two solid rights that cut open the left side of Smith’s face and ended the tilt clean. TKO win for Murphy. No need to go to the fight cards at all.
The third period saw Åberg complete his hat trick after a wicked wrister whistled over the shoulder of Will to push the Admirals lead back up to five-goals. The goal was Åberg’s now team leading twelfth of the season. He is the second member of the Admirals to notch a hat trick this season. Reinhart had the first back on 12/21/15 against the Rockford IceHogs. Both hat tricks were scored on the road.
The Rampage did make a push in the third period which resulted in a pair of goals. Michael Schumacher finished off a strong shift to score his sixth goal of the season. That was followed up seven minutes later by a redirected goal by the newly stitched up Smith for his twelfth goal of the season.
Despite that last goal by the Rampage making it a three-goal game with 3:22 remaining in regulation there was no empty net and extra attacker push made by the home team. The game would spiral down to the final horn and provide the Admirals with a solid and decisive weekend sweep in San Antonio.
Ramblings: Tonight’s line combinations for the Milwaukee Admirals were: Arvidsson-Sissons-Hodgson, Åberg-Kamenev-Gaudreau, White-Reinhard-Görtz, Devane-Girard-Payerl, Oligny-Elliott, Näkyvä-Mullen, Murphy-Aronson. Tonight’s scratches were: Joe Pendenza (healthy), Johan Alm (healthy), Jonathan Diaby (undisclosed injury). Tonight wasn’t just Stefan Elliott’s Admirals debut it was his 200th career AHL game.
Here is the most obvious question that I can come up from after these last two games in San Antonio. Were the Admirals that good or were the Rampage that bad? How do you like the new look Admirals defense with a clean split of three-pairings that have a left and a right shot?