The Milwaukee Admirals won 4-2 on the road against the Charlotte Checkers Sunday afternoon at the Bojangles’ Coliseum.
It is now a wait and see mode for the Admirals who extended their point streak to twelve games with today’s win. If the Lake Erie Monsters lose in any fashion tonight to the Rochester Americans the Admirals can clinch the Central Division title. It would be the Admirals first divisional crown since the 2010-11 season.
The Admirals were able to get out in front with a first period power-play from Pontus Åberg. Kevin Fiala instigated some post-whistle shoving to draw a roughing call against Kyle Hagel. From there the age old Admirals formula of placing a Swede with a right-handed shot on the left wing circle for a one-timer held true. Taylor Aronson fed the puck off to Åberg who unloaded with a first-time shot that rifled past John Muse for the Swede’s team leading twenty-third goal of the season.
The Checkers were able to answer back 1:36 into the second period off of a counter attack following a turnover from Fiala in the neutral zone. David Wohlberg managed to score to Juuse Saros’ glove side while falling down to make it a 1-1 game on his ninth goal of the season.
Taylor Aronson’s efforts to jump up in attack helped see the Admirals regain their lead by flipping a pass out from behind the net to Matt White. Aronson skated down from the point, swooped around the cage, and caught White just on the right wing side of the net with a pass that beat Muse to the near post for White’s twelfth goal of the season.
Åberg’s hot run as of late continued into the second period as he picked up his second goal of the game to make it a 3-1 Admirals lead. Max Reinhart ripped a shot from the left wing that Muse was able to shrug off to his right side but Frédérick Gaudreau was on-hand to recover the rebound and dish across the goal mouth to find Åberg for a tap in and his twenty-fourth goal of the season.
The Checkers managed to cut the lead down to one-goal by scoring with 14.4 seconds remaining in the second period. Justin Shugg was battling on the puck with Trevor Murphy in the slot. As the puck kicked towards the left wing a touch Shugg followed and followed with a wrister that hopped up on Saros for the forward’s twelfth goal of the season.
It was a testing third period for the Admirals as the Checkers dictated much of the action and dumped eleven shots on Saros. With a late power-play chance, and the net emptied and extra attacker on, the Checkers effectively had a two-man advantage as the clawed for an equalizer in the final minute of play. Yet, Vladislav Kamenev was able to score into the empty net shorthanded to seal this game up at 4-2 on the Russian’s fifteenth goal of the season. That was the Admirals eleventh shorthanded goal of the season and second scored in as many games.
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals last played there were no roster moves made. Today’s line combinations were the same as yesterday with the Admirals dressing seven defensemen and eleven forwards: Reinhart-Gaudreau-Åberg, Fiala-Kamenev-Payerl, White-Girard-Görtz, Devane-Pendenza, Näkyvä-Aronson, Oligny-Elliott, Murphy-Mullen, Dougherty. Today’s scratches were: Cody Hodgson (upper-body), A.J. White (healthy), and Johan Alm (lower-body).
Thoughts on today’s game? Is this the best that Pontus Åberg has played as a member of the Milwaukee Admirals? How solid was Juuse Saros this afternoon in securing the win?
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