It may not have had the start they wanted but the Milwaukee Admirals did bounce back quickly last night against the Iowa Wild. Perhaps most importantly was their finish. The Admirals were smart and precise with the puck and took what was a 4-2 first period lead and made it the final scoreline. That’s one game out of the way. Now for the next rodeo of this three-in-three weekend.
~The Amtrak Rivals~
The Chicago Wolves enter tonight’s game with a record of 25-27-5-3 (58 points). Their 0.483 points percentage has them in sixth place of the Central Division and twelfth place in the Western Conference standings.
It has been a dog rough season for the Wolves, pun entirely intended, but who could have ever thought they would be below 0.500 this late into the season? They’re entering this game with a 0-2-2-1 record from their last five-games and only have two-wins from their last twelve-games.
It’s astonishing how poor the Wolves have been this season and that trend lent itself to the Admirals claiming their first Amtrak Trophy since the 2012-13 season. The Wolves were the AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks that season. As an AHL affiliate of the St. Louis Blues this was the first season in which they came up short against the Admirals – and short is right. The Admirals are 7-2-0-0 against the Wolves this season.
If there is a glimmer of hope to this poor run of form for the Wolves they do have this little nugget. The Wolves have played the Admirals four times in Chicago this season and have won twice. That might sound so-so but, hey, it’s 0.500 hockey. That’s better than they’ve been doing this entire season much less the last five-games.
~Who What Now?~
The Wolves top scorer this season is their captain Pat Cannone who has 45 points (20 goals, 25 assists) in 58 games. He is followed by linemate Danny Kristo who has 39 points (18 goals, 21 assists) in 55 games.
In third place on the Wolves scoring list this season is the man with the most points scored against the Admirals in this match-up. André Benoît has 8 points (all assists) in 9 games against the Admirals. He has 30 points (7 goals, 23 assists) in 56 games for the Wolves this season.
In net the Wolves still have a tandem of Jordan Binnington and Pheonix Copley. Last time out in the Amtrak Rivalry it was Copley who turned up huge in net. His efforts last week probably helped earn the Wolves a point. He stopped 38/39 shots on goal, including all 21 shots the Admirals threw at him in the third period, before taking the tough luck overtime loss in a 1-0 game. Copley was tasked with the follow up game the next day and fared much less as he’d stop 20/25 shots on goal as the Admirals won 5-2 in Chicago to clinch the Amtrak Trophy.
Expectations for tonight’s game? How vital will it be for the Milwaukee Admirals to have a good start after last night? With this being a three-in-three weekend is tonight the opportune time to rotate the goaltenders?
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