Power-Play Goals and Woes; Ads lose 4-2

(Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)

(Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)

The Milwaukee Admirals lost 4-2 on the road against the Chicago Wolves Saturday night at the Allstate Arena.

Despite getting the right opening twenty-minutes that they wanted the Admirals weren’t able to do what they did last night and shut the door for the remaining two periods of play. The Wolves were able to comeback from a two-goal deficit in the first period by scoring four unanswered goals. All three wins for the Wolves against the Admirals this season have come at the Allstate Arena.

With last night’s start to the game in mind, the Admirals made certain that tonight’s first period would be more direct and precise. Following a boarding minor by Cody Beach, that drove Corey Potter into the glass, the Admirals cashed in on the power-play less than five-minutes into the game. Pontus Åberg was able to create a lane to pass from the left wing to the back post where Max Reinhart zipped a shot first time past Jordan Binnington to notch his seventeenth goal of the season.

The first period then saw even more penalty box action and it really started to build around a fight between Adam Payerl and the aforementioned Beach. The fight wasn’t anything too special, plenty of jersey pulling and grappling, but Payerl received an instigator on the tilt. That put the Wolves on a power-play which would prove to be short lived following back-to-back penalties from Patrick Cannone and André Benoît. For good measure, one-time Admiral from last season Jared Nightingale also got involved with a slash and the Admirals had an extended five-on-three power-play. This set the stage for Kevin Fiala to smack home a one-timer from the right wing circle to score his fourteenth goal of the season to give the Admirals a 2-0 first period lead.

As the Admirals did in the first period the Wolves did in the second period. A pair of power-play goals from the Wolves in the sandwich stanza made it a 2-2 game through two periods. It started with a Ty Rattie shot that smoked through Juuse Saros that was pushed behind him by Evan Trupp for his fourth goal of the season. That power-play goal for the Wolves was their first scored against the Admirals from twenty-one previous power-play opportunities.

At the end of the second period the Admirals were back on the penalty kill following a tripping minor against Åberg. With just 6.3 seconds remaining in the frame the Wolves found an equalizer to make it a 2-2 contest. A long range backhander by Jordan Schmaltz from the left point deflected off of the net front traffic of Stefan Elliott and Jordan Caron. The harsh redirect left Saros sliding to his left as the puck darted right. The goal would be credited to Caron for his fifteenth goal of the season. The young Finn really could do little to stop that piece of puck luck from beating him.

In the opening minute of the third period the Wolves scored their third unanswered goal to claim their first lead of the game. Jeremy Welsh forced a bad turnover out of Kristian Näkyvä in the Admirals defensive zone and the puck laid free for Rattie. The Wolves sniper went bardown shooting from the right wing against Saros for his twelfth goal of the season.

Saros made his way to the bench a few times in the closing staged of the game. Following the Admirals’ use of their timeout he made his way to the bench with forty-two seconds remaining to get the extra attacker on. The Admirals late rally was thwarted by an empty netter from Danny Kristo for his nineteenth goal of the season. This was the first time in nineteen-games that the Wolves scored four goals in a game.

Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals played last night there were no roster moves made throughout the organization. Tonight’s line combinations were: Reinhart-Gaudreau-Åberg, Fiala-Kamenev-Payerl, White-Girard-Görtz, Murphy-Pendenza-Bass, Oligny-Potter, Näkyvä-Mullen, Elliott-Aronson. Tonight’s scratches were: Jamie Devane (upper body), Cody Hodgson (undisclosed), and Johan Alm (lower body).

Where did tonight’s game fall apart? Why were the Admirals unable to mount any serious attacking pressure in the third period? Will a loss like this spill into tomorrow in Iowa or is it better for the Admirals to erase this game instantly?

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