Reinhart Nets Second Hat Trick of the Season; Ads Win 4-1

(Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)
Can we call Max Reinhart “Mr. Hat Trick” now? (Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)

The Milwaukee Admirals won 4-1 against the Chicago Wolves Friday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

This was a return to form sort of night for the Admirals. Max Reinhart scored his second hat trick of the season for the Admirals to put the cherry on top of what was a great all-around performance that saw the team skate circles around the Amtrak Rivals.

“We thought we started real strong,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason after the game. “We were a little worried about not getting rewarded early with our play. Then certainly when they made it 2-1 there was some dicey times and some tense times. We talked to the group afterwards that when it was 2-1 we didn’t panic, we didn’t lose our composure, we stayed calm, we played the game the right way, and allowed the game to unfold.”

The Admirals were able to take a first period lead thanks to the thirteenth goal of the season for Max Reinhart. The goal all started with a crafty bit of defensive work by Colton Sissons in neutral ice to start a rush into the attacking zone. Sissons left a puck behind him for a trailer to take a stab at and he would find that in the form of Reinhart. The Wolves lost sight of the puck after Sissons skated away and Reinhart took a slap shot first-time that ripped through Jared Nightingale, Scooter Vaughan, and the glove of Jordan Binnington.

In the second period Reinhart added his second goal of the night to make it a 2-0 Admirals lead. The Admirals managed to catch the Wolves in the midst of a sloppy change and a quick outlet pass through the neutral zone hit Reinhart down the right wing for a breakaway. Binnington sprawled low to take away the bottom of the net but he left room by his left toe – which is precisely where Reinhart would polished off the breakaway for his fourteenth goal of the season.

“I think I was cherry-picking a bit on that one,” smiled Max Reinhart. “But [Max Görtz] made an unbelievable pass. It was about a, I would say, about a 50 ft. pass and it landed about an inch behind the guy’s stick right on my tape. Pass like that you got to finish for him.”

The Wolves were finally able to solve Marek Mazanec late in the second period but it required a highlight reel effort from Zach O’Brien to get the job done. Vaughan chipped a backhanded pass from just in front of the Wolves bench to hit O’Brien in stride and the Wolves forward stickhandled Jimmy Oligny into a shot blocking squat, burned past him, forced Mazanec way up and out of the net to challenge him, and O’Brien stickhandled around Mazanec before reaching back towards the net to deposit the puck in for an amazing goal. The tally goes down as O’Brien’s seventh goal of the season.

In the opening five minutes of the third period the Admirals were in full-on attack mode. The Wolves were struggling to match the pace and the pace forced a turnover right in front of their own net that allowed Frédérick Gaudreau to score a gift of a goal for his thirteenth of the season.

The hats, and free shirts, would go flying after a power-play goal to complete the hat trick for Reinhart. The Admirals power-play setup ended with a one-timer by Cody Hodgson that trickled off Binnington. Reinhart was in the right place to quickly hop on the rebound where he would bank a shot off the back of Binnington and in for his third goal of the night and fifteenth of the season.

“[Max Reinhart] has been good,” commented Evason. “We think he’s been good since we flipped him to the wing – better than he’s been – and he’s been real real good all year. We’ve had different people called up at different times and he’s had to play a big role on our hockey club – certainly the first half of the season. He’s on the power-play, he kills penalties, he plays a hard game, an offensive game, and he’s sound. It’s not surprising that he’s had success.”

The hat trick for Reinhart was his second of the season. The last Admirals player to score two hat tricks in one season came last year when Viktor Stålberg accomplished the feat. It is the Admirals fourth hat trick of the season: Reinhart, 12/21/16 @ Rockford… Åberg, 1/16/16 @ San Antonio… Murphy, 2/5/16 @ Bakersfield… Gaudreau, 2/12/16 vs. Rockford… Reinhart, 2/26/16 vs. Chicago.

They talked about it a few times in the game but finally decided to uncork the rage and do the damage. Cody Bass and Jacob Doty let loose on what was a very fast but very high energy scrap that ended with Doty getting the better of the final exchanges. This would seemingly spill into more emotionally charged play as Trevor Murphy delivered a high hit on Jordan Caron as the two were about to battle on the forecheck. Caron went after Murphy with some sucker shots that drew the attention of Gaudreau who then proceeded to get some more Caron swats. Somehow, the end result of the second altercation was matching minors for Murphy (interference) and Caron (roughing).

With 39.6 seconds remaining in regulation Adam Payerl and Jared Nightingale decided to provide a teaser for tomorrow night’s game in Chicago – in theory. The fight they displayed ended quickly after a slip and a fall from Payerl with Nightingale landing on top of him. That would be the first and last time all evening the Wolves were on top of the Admirals.

Perhaps lost in Reinhart’s hat trick performance was a terrific and calm night in net for Mazanec. The Czech goaltender stopped 29/30 shots on goal en route to his sixteenth win of the season. Mazanec is now two-wins shy from matching his previous career high for wins in an AHL season. He had eighteen-wins in the 2013-14 season from thirty-one appearances and eighteen wins in the 2014-15 season from forty-eight appearances. Tonight was Mazanec’s thirtieth appearance and twenty-ninth start of the 2015-16 season.

“I think we played well,” said Frédérick Gaudreau. “Sixty-minutes from everybody. For sure, it is fun to play against those guys. It’s a good rivalry. It was a great game tonight.”

Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals last played on Wednesday the team recalled defenseman Garrett Noonan from their ECHL affiliate the Cincinnati Cyclones. The Nashville Predators also announced that they re-signed defenseman Anthony Bitetto to a new two-year contract this afternoon. Tonight’s line combinations were: Reinhart-Sissons-Görtz, Fiala-Hodgson-Åberg, White-Kamenev-Gaudreau, Payerl-Girard-Bass, Oligny-Elliott, Noonan-Aronson, Näkyvä –Murphy. Tonight’s scratches were: Patrick Mullen (right-hand laceration), Johan Alm (lower-body), and Jamie Devane (healthy). Tonight’s attendance was 9,852.

Thoughts and reactions on tonight’s game? Have you missed the Amtrak Rivalry or what? Was this a return to form for the Admirals?

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6 thoughts on “Reinhart Nets Second Hat Trick of the Season; Ads Win 4-1”

  1. 1) The Admirals played well in all three periods. That is a refreshing change.
    2) Chicago sent in three forecheckers early in the game. Initially, they bottled up the Admirals. Milwaukee responded by swinging the puck wide, which allowed them to break out.
    3) Chicago countered by clogging the neutral zone (as is usual with Anderson coaching).
    4) The Admirals skated the puck through the Wolves and went to diagonal passes.
    5) Chicago fell back to putting 3 or 4 guys standing on their blue line.
    6) The Admirals went to stretch passes and chipping the puck into the Chicago end.
    7) Milwaukee missed at least 3 pucks sitting in the blue of the crease. Reinhart could have scored another goal and Milwaukee could have doubled their goal total.
    8) After the first few minutes, the Admirals’ passing improved a lot.
    9) The crowd was boisterous, perhaps charged up by the UW band.
    10) The only dark spot was that play by Oligny.
    11) Chicago was in the game for nearly 4 minutes tonight.

    Bonus: Reinhart must have 25 hats to chose from. They really rained down tonight!

    Tomorrow night in Chicago: Repeat steps 1,2,4,6,8 and 11.

    What rivalry? You had a .666 team playing a .500 team. It showed. Milwaukee rolled back Chicago from their D-Zone down to the Wolves D-Zone in a few minutes. The Wolves looked like an ECHL team tonight. The Fiala-Hodgson-Åberg line didn’t dominate, but they mustered about 10 or 12 shots on goal. The other three lines rolled over the Wolves like a tidal wave.

  2. I forgot one thing. Where did they get the special guest midget referee? He wasn’t very good.
    Will he come back for the WWE event on March 8?

    Sissons was tripped 5 feet in front of the ref in the offensive zone 2 minutes into the game while he had the puck. There was NO CALL. I lost confidence in the ref that fast. He wasn’t terrible, but wasn’t very good. He needs another season in the ECHL or doing high school games. He allowed way too many high hits, mostly by Chicago. I saw a Wolve leave his feet to hit an Admiral on the end boards in the first period. I thought that was a penalty every time!

  3. adsfan: I have no problem with officiating as long as it is consistent. Were calls not made that could’ve been? Absolutely. I was getting confused at how many times players were getting sticks swatted out of their hands last night. But… as long as that’s the norm and things are called evenly – that’s fine. I never like seeing players have to guess where the red-line is for right and wrong. Officials were a three man group last night not a four man group. I wish the AHL mandated four for every game so more eyes were on the ice to catch things – especially behind the play. But I thought the game was called fairly as far as who got away with what because the precedent was set and they stuck to what would be fair game for no-calls. It was more gritty the way they let things slide I suppose but I’d rather that then a dumb call being made that shouldn’t have followed by a make-up call as a team is on the power-play or something. Just call the game one-way. Set the ground work. Stick to it. Let the players play. They did, and that’s all that matters for me.

  4. PS. When Fiala’s stick was swatted miles up into the air last night while he was forechecking… that’s when I laughed and said, “boy.. so no slashing tonight.” I’d have loved to see my face when that sticked launched into the air. Probably a great combination of confusion, disgust, and laughing.

  5. I thought that Fiala’s stick was going to go over the tall glass and into the crowd in the third period. I was not surprised that there was no call. The crowd around me reacted with some “oohs and aahs” as the stick pinwheeled through the air. The boos followed a few seconds later. I wish that was in the highlights, because it was so unusual to see a stick flying through the air like that.

  6. nice job by milwaukee beating a bad wolves team the final score should been 5-6 to 1 admirals did a great job by not letting chicago to get their offense going

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