The Milwaukee Admirals won 2-1 on the road against the San Antonio Rampage Sunday afternoon at the AT&T Center. It was a similar feeling game as the opener and the result is just that. A late third period goal scored by Adam Payerl put the Admirals over the top in a tight penalty filled contest to complete the weekend sweep on the road.
Today’s scoring started off with a goal that mirrored last night’s game-winner for the Admirals. A great defensive play in neutral ice that speared a counter attack that ended with a goal. This go-round it was Matt Irwin who forced a turnover with a stick check and pushed the puck up ice in-line with Justin Florek. The newly signed Admirals forward went with a low wrister from the right wing that blazed against the grain of Spencer Martin to open Florek’s goal scoring account with the Admirals.
The penalty bug from yesterday’s contest trickled into today. And just like yesterday a 1-0 Admirals lead heading into the second period was erased by a power-play goal for the Rampage. The home-side were on their fourth power-play in the when A.J. Greer picked out Rocco Grimaldi in the low left wing circle who wired a wrister top shelf on Juuse Saros for his first goal of the season.
After a whistle during an Admirals five-on-three power-play the first fight for the Admirals in the 2016-17 season broke out. If you had Austin Watson as the man to do it? You probably had decent betting odds. Watson was grabbed by Duncan Siemens and Watson obliged. He never really managed to free himself up to throw anything flush and was subsequently taken down rather quickly in more of a scrum than a fist fight.
It was tough sledding for the Admirals in the third period. They weren’t able to record a shot on goal until 8:23 of the frame had elapsed. Despite that, much like yesterday’s game again, the Admirals found an edge. Adam Payerl provided a brilliant piece of puck control to maintain a backhanded stance as he carved past the front of the net before whipping a no-look backhander between the pads of Martin to score his first goal of the season and make it a 2-1 Admirals lead.
The Rampage’s late empty net push came with essentially five-on-five hockey taking place. Sergei Boikov was called for boarding when he caught his fellow Russian Vladislav Kamenev from behind as the Admirals were forechecking. Nothing came of the Rampage’s 1:50 worth of extra attacking play and the Admirals secured back-to-back 2-1 victories in San Antonio to start the season.
Juuse Saros made twenty-nine saves for the Admirals today. He came up really big on a number of occasions and especially when the Admirals were penalty killing. It was yet another rough game in that regard, as far as penalty accumulations are concerned, but the Admirals penalty kill still did a strong job. In two games the Admirals have 14/16 on the penalty kill. I’m certain getting the amount of trips to the box minimized need to be addressed but the penalty kill has had a decent workout and performance out the gate.
The Admirals next game will be this Wednesday where they’ll travel to Chicago for the first Amtrak Rivalry game of the season against the Chicago Wolves. That game starts at 7:00 PM CDT. The Admirals will be hosting a viewing party of the game at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena that evening.
Ramblings: Tonight’s line combinations were the same as they have been the past week. That meant the healthy scratches named last night were repeated once again: Matt White, Justin Kirkland, and Jonathan Diaby. The Admirals winning streak over the San Antonio Rampage is now up to six-games. As mentioned yesterday, the Rampage’s last victory over the Admirals came on 3/25/15 in Milwaukee on a 4-3 shootout victory when the Rampage were part of the Florida Panthers organization.
All things considered, are you happy enough with the Milwaukee Admirals taking wins in their first two games of the season? What are some of the more glaring problems that stood out to you this weekend? Do you think the penalty bug is concerning or is it simply early season sloppiness?
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