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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