The Milwaukee Admirals won 2-1 on the road against the Chicago Wolves Sunday afternoon at the Allstate Arena.
Entering the third period the Admirals trailed 1-0 but saw a goal from Kevin Fiala in the opening minute of the frame level the playing field. Then it became the Russian Hammer show as Vladislav Kamenev got involved in his first fight in professional hockey during the third period. The teenager would then be the closer to tonight’s game as he put away a rebound with 2:12 remaining in regulation to cap off a three-in-three weekend for the Admirals where they claimed five out of a possible six points.
As has been the featured story of the weekend the first period came and went without a goal being scored. The opening goal wouldn’t come until midway through the second period and would come the way of the Wolves on the power-play. Jordan Schmaltz was priming to fire a shot to the net from the left wing but opted to set his sights off to the side of Marek Mazanec where Jeremy Welsh was crashing from the low right wing. The Wolves defenseman let loose on the shot pass and caught Welsh clean on the redirect for the forward’s thirteenth goal of the season.
Of note, the Admirals road power-play this season has only allowed fifteen power-play goals from one-hundred-and-four penalty kills. The Wolves have accounted for eight of those power-play goals by doing that damage at the Allstate Arena this season.
Only two-minutes after the power-play goal for the Wolves and the Admirals earned themselves a penalty shot that could have drawn them back to level terms. A fast sequence of passes put Félix Girard on a breakaway from the face-off circles in on Pheonix Copley but was taken down from behind by Zack Phillips. On the penalty shot Girard swooped down the left wing side of the ice, held forehand, and tried to snap a wrist shot over the pads blocker side of Copley but didn’t get the elevation he was looking for.
The Admirals were able to equalize just fifty-seven seconds into the third period after a terrible defensive zone turnover by Ivan Barbashyov. The Wolves had four men back in their own zone looking to breakout while the Admirals had Adam Payerl trailing behind them. Barbashyov lost the handle and it led directly to a quick one-two with Payerl passing across Copley to find Kevin Fiala on the backdoor where he’d score his sixteenth goal of the season.
It wouldn’t be much of an Amtrak Rivalry game without a fight, right? Out of all of the possible combatants I don’t think many would have picked out Vladislav Kamenev versus Danny Kristo to go down but it did after the Russian laid out Kristo behind the Admirals net. Kristo had Kamenev’s number following the hit and the two locked horns long after a whistle came. It wasn’t a long scrap at all but Kamenev landed a clean overhand right that dropped Kristo and, in the fall to the ice, the two actually managed to mangle the right ankle of linesman William Hancock. Thankfully the linesman would skate off the pain and carry on for the rest of the game.
With 2:12 remaining in regulation the Admirals scored to take a 2-1 lead. Stefan Elliott hammered a low shot that spilled out in front of Copley. The man quickest to react to rebound was Kamenev to smacked the puck around the right pad of Copley to score his eleventh goal of the season.
The Wolves went empty net with 1:24 remaining in regulation and ended up getting a power-play with twenty-seven seconds remaining. With effectively two extra attackers the Wolves ran out of time as the Admirals held on to the 2-1 lead for their second win in less than twenty-four hours.
The win today for the Admirals pushes their record to 40-20-3-1 (84 points) with a points percentage of 0.646. It is the first time since the 2012-13 season that the Admirals have hit the forty wins plateau and there are still eleven games remaining on the 2015-16 season schedule.
Ramblings: Prior to today’s game the Nashville Predators recalled both Gabriel Bourque and Eric Nystrom from their long-term injury loans. Today’s line combinations were: Reinhart-Gaudreau-Åberg, Fiala-Kamenev-Payerl, White-Girard-Görtz, Devane-Bass-Pendenza, Elliott-Mullen, Näkyvä-Aronson, Oligny-Potter. Today’s scratches were: Trevor Murphy (healthy), Cody Hodgson (upper body), Johan Alm (lower body).
Thoughts on today’s game? What did you think of the Milwaukee Admirals ability to battle back late in today’s game? How impressed are you right now with the line combination of Kevin Fiala, Vladislav Kamenev, and Adam Payerl?
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