The Milwaukee Admirals lost 3-2 against the Iowa Wild Saturday night at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. It was a historic night for the Admirals organization but it unfortunately was met with another regulation defeat to the Wild.
“What we have here and what we’ve been given we would like to reward,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason after the game. “I’d like to think that our group did reward Harris [Turer] and the organization with the effort. We just didn’t get the result.”
It didn’t take the Wild long to display similar feats of offensive strength that was on show last night. Colton Beck unleashed a rocket of a wrister from the right wing circle that went against the grain of Juuse Saros and beat him high blocker side off a post and in to give the Wild a 1-0 lead 3:14 into the game. The Wild would hold that lead despite being outshot 12-4 in the opening period by the Admirals.
The Wild would claim a 2-0 lead just twenty-seven seconds into the second period. Alex Tuch measured a pass to the tape of a center lane racing Jordan Schroeder. The shot got to the tape of Schroeder but the shot attempt wasn’t clean and fooled Juuse Saros enough to get past him. The goal for Schroeder was his fourth scored this season and third scored against the Admirals in twenty-four hours.
Matt White would start to bring some momentum to the side of the Admirals with a great individual effort to score his second goal of the season. White raced into the attacking zone with pace and rifled a wrister past Steve Michalek. The Wild goaltender was unusually far from his crease when the shot by White was taken and it beat him top shelf to make it a 2-1 contest.
As far as christening the ice with a fight it just had to be Mike Liambas for the Admirals, didn’t it? The Admirals scrapper matched up with the Wild’s Kurtis Gabriel and Liambas quickly dropped him with a right hook to the helmet. Before Gabriel could get up off one knee and keep going the officials jumped in and called it right there. That’s a 10-8 round for Liambas in your fight cards.
Following a high sticking minor against Mike Weber the Admirals were able to level things up at 2-2 with a power-play goal. A fast cycle worked back to the net front presence of Justin Florek. His initial jam play was kicked aside by Michalek but into the path of Adam Payerl to score from the rebound for his second goal of the season.
The second period ended with the Wild regaining their lead. A loss in defensive zone coverage allowed Sam Anas to break free for a shot on Saros. The Anas shot was blockered off by Saros lost sight of the puck completely and froze. Adam Gilmour managed to find the puck loose between the pads of Saros and poked it through for his second goal of the season to give the Wild a 3-2 lead.
With 1:54 of regulation remaining the Admirals brought Saros off to bring the extra attacker on. The Admirals nearly capitalized right away with a jam play in front of Michalek but the puck was finally ushered into the left wing pocket and away from danger. That would be the last solid piece of attacking pressure from the Admirals as they dropped the home opener to the Wild by a final score of 3-2.
“We just did a quick count and maybe there is five scoring chances against us in the entire game,” said Evason. “Clearly we’ll watch and go over it but boy we played good. It’s unfortunate we didn’t get the end result for Harris and for everybody that has worked so hard on this but it’s a long year. It’s just the first game here.”
This is two regulation defeats for the Admirals in two days against the Iowa Wild. The Admirals went 6-1-1-0 against the Wild all last season. The Ads complete the three-in-three weekend tomorrow with a 4pm contest on the road against the Rockford IceHogs.
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals played last night there were no roster changes made throughout the organization. The same couldn’t be said of the Iowa Wild who saw Tyler Graovac recalled by the Minnesota Wild while Teemu Pulkkinen was assigned to Iowa after clearing waivers from Minnesota. Pulkkinen was not available for tonight’s game. This was the Milwaukee Admirals first game in the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena in twenty-nine years. The last Admirals game in the building was 4/25/87 in a 7-4 playoff win over the Lake Golden Eagles back when it was still known as the MECCA. Tonight’s home opening attendance was 6,458.
Thoughts on tonight’s game? Are the Milwaukee Admirals offensive struggles starting to become a glaring problem? What did you think of the home opener of the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena and how would you describe your experience?
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