The Milwaukee Admirals lost 2-1 in a shootout against the Charlotte Checkers Friday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
This was the first shootout loss for the Admirals from eight shootout games on the season. It also marked the first loss for the Admirals after leading the game through two periods of play. Previously the team was 27-0-0-0 until tonight’s shootout loss.
It wouldn’t be until the second period when the game had its opening goal. Corey Potter snapped a stretch pass from deep in the Admirals defensive zone that bounced around Frédérick Gaudreau and Dennis Robertson. The two went to swat the puck at the same time and the path the puck chose to go was fortunate for the Admirals as it went directly into the path of an on-rushing Pontus Åberg. The speed that the Swede was carrying while Mike Cornell was caught puck watching left only John Muse in net to beat – and beat him he did. Åberg slammed on the breaks and flipped forehand to score his eighteenth goal of the season.
The AHL isn’t immune to some bizarre moments but what happened as soon as the second period came to an end has to stack up there as the wackiest moment of the 2015-16 season. The horn sounded, the Admirals left for the locker room, but the Checkers remained with their coaching staff seemingly upset. After a lengthy delay the announcement was made that they were using their challenge to see whether or not they had scored a goal with two-minutes remaining in the period. The Admirals coaching staff walked back out of the locker room to see what was what. The only players of the Admirals that stayed present through all of the delay were Marek Mazanec and Juuse Saros and all members of the Checkers stayed on their bench. The call came in and it was announced as, “no goal.” This delayed the start of the second intermission for a good amount of time but, hey, that was extra recovery time for the Admirals who were already in cooldown mode in the locker room as this challenge from the Checkers came and went with them losing and losing their timeout.
The third period was close to providing yet another dazzling goal from Åberg but instead left the game level with 5:10 remaining. Åberg cut through several members of the Checkers but Muse was able to fend off his shot this time. On the following counter rush from the Checkers they finally put a puck past Mazanec to end the shutout streak of the Admirals over the Checkers that lasted 115:40 of ice time over the course of three-games. Jake Chelios delivered a snapshot from the high slot that missed the sliding block attempt of Patrick Mullen and flew over the top of Mazanec’s gloves for the defenseman’s sixth goal of the season.
This game would be pushed into overtime and it was there that saw an incredible amount of nearly-almost moments. Derek Ryan whipped a backhander that beat Mazanec and banked off the crossbar, into the path of Keegan Lowe, and the follow up shot missed wide.
The game fell to a shootout where the Admirals would lose their first shootout of the season. The lone goal scored in the shootout came in round four where Justin Shugg beat Mazanec five-hole for a Checkers shootout victory.
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals last played on Sunday the organization agreed to a new ten-year lease to make the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena the team’s home starting in the 2016-17 season. The Admirals also saw two members of the Nashville Predators, Gabriel Bourque and Eric Nystrom, arrive on long-term injury loan. The conditions of their loan should be fulfilled by completing this weekend’s games for the Admirals. Tonight’s line combinations were: Reinhart-Gaudreau-Åberg, Fiala-Kamenev-Payerl, Nystrom-Bass-Bourque, White-Girard-Görtz, Oligny-Potter, Elliott-Mullen, Murphy-Aronson. Tonight’s scratches were: Kristian Näkyvä (healthy), Jamie Devane (upper body), Cody Hodgson (upper body), Joe Pendenza (healthy), and Johan Alm (lower body).
Reactions to tonight’s game? Was this a slow offensive performance because of the time off you think? Despite the shootout loss, are you still satisfied with Marek Mazanec and the defense’s effort tonight?
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