Offensive Woes Continue; Ads Win 2-1 Shootout

(Photo Credit: Sara Stathas)
(Photo Credit: Sara Stathas)

The Milwaukee Admirals won 2-1 in a shootout against the Iowa Wild Sunday afternoon at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Once again, the Admirals offense wasn’t finding much quality in their finishing touch. They delivered thirty-three shots on goal but had many moments that alluded them. They carried a second period lead into the third frame but were dragged into and through overtime and all the way into a shootout. Thankfully for the Admirals the shootout has been a lock for them this season. They’ve won all six shootouts they’ve competed in with Juuse Saros not allowing a single shootout goal against.

After several “almost, nearly” moments the Admirals finally found a breakthrough in the second period. Max Reinhart flipped a backhanded pass from the right wing that looped over the stick of Maxime Fortunus and tagged Pontus Åberg in stride down the slot. The Swede threw a backhanded shot top shelf that gave Leland Irving no chance to make a stop on for Åberg’s fourteenth goal of the season.

Shortly after Kevin Fiala took a solid check in front of the Wild bench a fight broke out between Félix Girard and Brett Sutter in the third period. Both were throwing wildly, pun not intended, and it was hard to tell how many of their punches actually landed flush. It was a spirited tilt though so I’d mark that even on my fight card.

The Wild got off the mark just before the midway point of the third period. A low hard shot by Tyson Strachan went off the right pad of Juuse Saros and spilled into the left wing. Marc Hagel was in the right place at the right time to score an easy rebounder for his third goal of the season.

With 2:57 left in regulation the Wild found themselves on a five-on-three power-play lasting 1:30 following a hooking minor against Åberg and a double-minor for high sticking against Taylor Aronson. The Admirals survived the five-on-three while the second minor on Aronson spilled into overtime. On the four-on-three penalty kill the Admirals finished off Aronson’s penalty and earned a power-play of their own, to boot.

The Admirals wouldn’t come away with anything from that power-play chance. Instead this game went to a shootout. For the sixth time in six attempts the Admirals won the shootout and did it with Saros denying all three attempts from the Wild. Matt White scored in the top frame of the last round of the shootout by sliding a puck underneath Leland Irving. That was followed by a shootout attempt by Zac Dalpe that went wide of the net entirely to give the Admirals the 2-1 shootout win.

Fun Fact. This season Saros has been in the shootout three times, faced eleven shooters, and stopped them all.

Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals played last night there was one roster move made. The Nashville Predators recalled forward Gabriel Bourque from his long-term injury loan assignment with the Milwaukee Admirals after having played two out of a maximum three games on his loan assignment. Today’s line combinations were: Fiala-Kamenev-Gaudreau, Reinhart-Sissons-Görtz, White-Hodgson-Åberg, Devane-Girard-Payerl, Oligny-Elliott, Alm-Aronson, Murphy-Mullen. Today’s loan scratch was a healthy one in defenseman Kristian Näkyvä. Patrick Mullen left the ice at the start of the third period due to injury. He went to the hospital for stitches to his hand after being reportedly stepped on by a skate. Attendance today was 8,973.

Thoughts on today’s game? Although the finishing wasn’t there it did look like the offense was generating chances. What’s lacking in the Admirals being able to bury goals lately?

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9 thoughts on “Offensive Woes Continue; Ads Win 2-1 Shootout”

  1. Rockford is at .657 with 29 wins in 51 games and in first place. They are 1-4 in shootouts.

    Milwaukee is at .657 with 32 wins in 51 games and in second place. They are 6-0 in shootouts.

    I hate the new standings. They are TOTAL BS!

    A team is penalized for winning. How does that make any sense in professional sports?

    This “win” hurt the Admirals in the standings. It must be 26 to 28 regulation wins via the AHL.

    Daniel: Can you or anybody else explain this situation to me? The AHL looks like a bush league!

    Good crowds this weekend. I hope it continues. One again, the Ads play on Daytona 500 day.

  2. adsfan: On my standings on the schedule I have the Admirals listed 1st in Division and 2nd in Conference. Why? Because the Admirals and IceHogs have the same points percentage but the Admirals have more regulation wins and own the head-to-head match-up against the IceHogs for good measure. The Admirals own the tiebreak. On no planet do they not own the tiebreak over the IceHogs. The reason why the AHL website says otherwise can probably only come down to how stupid the standings system operates under the new points percentage system which is all thanks to those deadbeat Californian AHL teams playing eight less games than the rest of the league. My logic at the beginning of the season was simple: the Californian AHL teams don’t want to play as many games as the rest of the league? Well, that sounds like a forfeit to me… give them eight regulation losses. Boom. Fixed. Instead, the AHL let them get away with whatever they wanted basically. It’s a joke looking at the Ontario Reign who will probably win the Western Conference not having played near enough the competition level that the Admirals have and will do so in less games. Ridiculous. It was always going to be ridiculous. If it doesn’t change for next season I would be irate because there are so many associated with following the AHL this season who hate hearing the words: points percentage.

  3. Those NHL clubs that moved their teams to the west coast knew in advance how the league operates, not sure why they should be given any consideration due to geography. Hell, Abbotsford put together full seasons when they had a team….

  4. Mark: Abbotsford is the team I always bring up as an example, as well. That team didn’t get a free pass to play less games due to travel expenses. It’s all so dumb and it was from the moment it was announced.

  5. It’s pretty easy to see why “Those NHL clubs” were given special consideration. If you look at ownership of AHL teams, 16 of 30 are owned by the same person/group as their NHL affiliate. That’s some pretty big pull, especially when 5 of those 16 want it.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely on the side of disliking the use of points percentage. I fear that next season all teams will drop down to the Cali teams number of games. I think the best-case scenario is splitting the difference. You’ve got to remember, they’re most likely operating their AHL teams at a loss, so cost management is essential.

    The person or people I envy the least in all this is whoever puts together the playoff primer for the AHL!

  6. Ontario Reign and Bakersfield Condors (maybe even more) were ECHL teams last season weren’t they? Perhaps the proper solution would have been to meet somewhere in the middle. Rapid City and Idaho and have ECHL teams. They’d save on travel time and expenses, yet probably not have as much of a negative effect (if any) on scheduling the games. It would have been nice if teams like that would have been promoted to the AHL….

    I get it, it’s not my money, so I don’t get to have a say in how things actually work. However, I will continue to moan, grumble, and bitch as much as possible!

  7. If I am correct Abbotsford had to pay at least some of the travel expenses for teams coming there.
    I am still pushing for a “balance” to the schedule where some of the East Coast teams come west. No offense, but it gets tiring wathing Rockford and Chicago 12 times a year.
    These are grown men and professional athletes, and if budget concerns for travel is the problem, teams should work together. Bring a group of teams and play a round robin for a week or two. The upper Midwest has Rockford, Chicago, Grand Rapids, Iowa and Lake Erie. Bring a Eastern Conference division to play then send a western conference division east. Would work with California teams too.
    The AHL need to do what is best for the fans. Get rid of the points system continue the 76 game schedule for EVERYONE and increase profits for owners by broadening the fan base with variety of teams attracting more fans.
    I can’t be the only one wanting to see an Admirals vs Admirals game again!

  8. Daniel, thanks for the answer. I do find it interesting the the AHL website would have it WRONG!

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