The Milwaukee Admirals won 2-0 on the road against the Texas Stars Wednesday night at the Cedar Park Center.
Juuse Saros was the story of tonight for the Admirals. The Stars were averaging 4.1 goals per game on home ice heading into this game but Saros stopped all twenty-eight shots on goal en route to his fourth shutout and his twenty-third win of the season from thirty-one starts.
For the last three Admirals games there was a scoreless first period of play. It was trending in that direction once again until a hooking call in the Stars attacking zone on Cole Ully put the Admirals on the power-play where they’d cash in from the first chance on the man-advantage. Stefan Elliott let loose on a wrist shot from the top of the left wing circle which got through Maxime Lagacé with Cody Bass standing in front of him. The goal would be credited to Elliott for his fifth goal of the season – all of which have come on the power-play.
In the second period the Admirals penalty kill would get tested three times with key penalty killers all involved with trips to the box. Not only did the Admirals penalty kill hold serve but the Stars were held for well over ten-minutes in the second period without a shot on goal.
The dagger moment of this game came in the third period when the Admirals scored once again on the power-play. Gemel Smith tripped up Corey Potter and set the stage for yet another blistering shot by Max Görtz to be unleashed for his sixteenth goal of the season and ninth scored on the power-play. His wrister beat Lagacé and then managed to beat up the crossbar before directing down and in to give the Admirals a two goal cushion.
With the shutout tonight the Admirals now have sole possession of first place in the Central Division and are second place to the Ontario Reign in the Western Conference standings. This was the eighth shutout of the season by the Admirals and only the second time all season that the Stars were shutout on home ice. The last time the Stars were shutout at Cedar Park Center was back on 10/21/15 against the Stockton Heat.
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals last played on Sunday there have been no roster moves made throughout the organization. Tonight’s line combinations were: Reinhart-Gaudreau-Åberg, Fiala-Kamenev-Payerl, White-Girard-Görtz, Murphy-Bass-Pendenza, Oligny-Potter, Elliott-Mullen, Näkyvä-Aronson. Tonight’s scratches were: Jamie Devane (illness), Cody Hodgson (upper-body), and Johan Alm (lower-body).
Reaction to tonight’s game? How good was the Milwaukee Admirals defensive performance tonight as well as Juuse Saros in net? Is this the style of hockey the Admirals need to play to have long term playoff success?
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