The Milwaukee Admirals shutout the Iowa Wild 2-0 Sunday evening at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
This game was a sloppy one but the Admirals, to their credit, avoided making major mistakes. The result of that was a smooth night in net for Marek Mazanec as he stopped all twenty-three shots on goal to earn his earn his fourth shutout of the season.
“He’s sure been good,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason of Marek Mazanec’s recent form. “We [the coaching staff] just talked about it upstairs. We all felt, and I’m sure his teammates felt the same way, he was just real calm.”
It feels like it has been ages since there has been a fight to report in Admirals-land. That changed tonight after a massive check by Jimmy Oligny pasted Marc Hagel into the glass. Oligny was called for boarding but was quickly called to answer the bell by Rob Bordson. The two dropped the mitts and Oligny polished off yet another member of the Wild with solid overhand shots that knocked Bordson down to the ice. For instigating the tilt Bordson’s actions, while no doubt respected by his teammates, nullified Oligny’s boarding minor.
The game’s first goal wouldn’t come until past the midway point and until video replay confirmation. Kevin Fiala blazed around the net, left wing to right wing, on a wrap-around that appeared to beat Leland Irving to the punch. Fiala celebrated like he scored it yet play kept on going. After review it was clear that Fiala knew something the powers that be didn’t. Irving was beaten on the post-to-post save attempt and it counted as a good goal – Fiala’s ninth of the season.
“I saw the puck behind the line,” laughed Kevin Fiala of his wrap-around goal that wasn’t initially ruled a goal. “That’s why I celebrated. I was sure it was in the net.”
With their backs against the wall the Wild went empty net and extra attacker on with 1:54 remaining in regulation. The Admirals would cap off things from there with an empty net tally for Max Reinhart. The goal goes down as his twelfth goal of the season.
It wasn’t his busiest game of the season but Marek Mazanec did what he needed to do to earn his fourth shutout of the season. Mazanec stopped all twenty-three shots he faced and is now on par with Juuse Saros with fifteen wins this season.
“He was really good,” said Fiala of Mazanec’s performance. “Not just tonight. He’s been very good the whole season I think. Everybody in here is happy to have both goalies. They’re really good. They’re competing against each other. We like that.”
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals played on Friday night there were no roster moves made. Of note, Jonathan Diaby did make his return to game-action for the Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL) after having missed the last month’s worth of hockey due to an upper-body injury. Tonight’s line combinations were: Reinhart-Sissons-Gaudreau, White-Hodgson-Åberg, Fiala-Kamenev-Görtz, Devane-Girard-Payerl, Alm-Aronson, Oligny-Elliott, Murphy-Mullen. Tonight’s scratches were both healthy: Joe Pendenza and Kristian Näkyvä. Tonight’s attendance was 14,075. It was the Milwaukee Admirals annual charity game and the team announced that they raised $28,108.00 tonight for the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
Thoughts on tonight’s game? What is it about the Wild that seems to give the Admirals so much trouble? Is this the best Marek Mazanec has played since he joined the Admirals?