Admirals Drop Home Opener to Iowa, 3-2

(Photo Credit: Stephanie Moebius)

Wisconsin Center District Executive Director Russ Staerkel and Milwaukee Admirals Owner/CEO Harris Turer drop the ceremonial pucks at tonight’s historic home opener. (Photo Credit: Stephanie Moebius)

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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20 Responses to Admirals Drop Home Opener to Iowa, 3-2

  1. adsfan says:

    The arena was beautiful and noisy. The Ads looked out of sync tonight. Too many missed passes, blown defensive assignments, and shots that missed the goal by a foot. They could have won!

  2. MUPANTHER says:

    Question. It’s said the Admirals last game at the Arena was in April of 1987. The Bradley Center didn’t open until October of 1988. Where did the Admirals play in 1987-88 season?

  3. Correct me if I’m wrong everybody – but wasn’t the 1987-88 season held at Wilson Park?

  4. Glenn says:

    You are correct and it may have been one of the worst teams the Admirals ever put on the ice. One bright spot was the play of future Admirals coach Claude Noel.

  5. Mark Sumner says:

    The arena is about what I had expected. I was worried parking would be a nightmare and it is. At least it was last night. That Hyatt structure is awful. Worst part of the arena are the concourses. They’re not wide enough for that many people. The bottlenecks created by concessions and the team store were pretty rough. Took us almost an entire intermission to complete one lap around the place.

    The actual viewing experience was alright. Obviously moving from an arena built specifically for hockey to one that was not and the sight lines will take a hit.

  6. Mark Sumner says:

    Oh… and the pre-period siren that sounds like a dying cow…lol!

    Not to be just a negative Nancy here… The new lighting was fantastic, especially during the Anthem and 2nd intermission. I also loved the way they upgraded the arena while preserving its historical charm. It really is a beautiful joint!

  7. tray Thompson says:

    How does the price of tickets go up when you move from nice to a ********?

  8. MUPANTHER says:

    Tray, there are many sections that are only $15, something the Admirals didn’t have at the Bradley Center.

  9. Tray: First of all, I don’t tolerate swearing in the comment section. Secondly, ticket prices were likely to jolt across the street anyways but with the money going towards a project that wasn’t going to have Admirals involvement. The money from fans this season at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena being spent on tickets, merchandise, and even concessions (the latter of which the team hardly even saw a percentage of) is actually getting back to the Admirals – which in turn gets put back into the renovations to make the old barn come back to life.

    Mark: That pre-period siren, especially the first one that took place, I thought someone was lengthily groaning into a microphone. If intended for the kiddos to sound off with that needs to be wound up tighter for them I think. It took the adult before the second period to make it actually sound siren-y and not just like me when I wake up on a Monday before my alarm clock. As I kind of get into in Chatterbox… some hiccups but I think everybody involved, inside and out, are going through the early motions and we’ll all settle in. I put myself in that as well. I’m still trying to figure out the whole place, too. Last event I went to in that place before last night’s game had to have been a supercross event in the late 90’s.

  10. MUPANTHER says:

    Did fans think the atmosphere was better?

  11. MUPANTHER says:

    I guess I can’t link a picture because you should goggle the arena before the new seat replacement. The old scoreboard picture tube scoreboard was terrible.

  12. tray Thompson says:

    That’s still not a reason to jolt the ticket prices it’s not the fans problem they don’t have all there ducks in a row, plus paying 30 dollars to park. The admiral fans will soon be dying breed.

  13. One game in at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena and Admirals fans are on the extinction list you say? Last night, up against the lineup of other events to tune or travel to (World Series, Badgers, Bucks) the Admirals had their best home opening attendance in three years: +763 fans from last season and +1426 fans in 2014. Average attendance last season shot up +360 fans per game over the year before. The Admirals aren’t dying. They’re growing. In that growth alone you should be able to understand the common business tactic of increasing the ticket price if more fans are coming in. And whether you’re just glum over the move or wishing the Admirals were involved in the Bucks new arena, a move that would have financially crippled the team and cost fans way more for an AHL ticket price than I’d suspect some NHL teams print up, you have to come to terms with reality. This move happened and it comes with change. The Admirals aren’t charging fans $30 to park. There a tons of options to park downtown and you picked the $30 option. Do research ahead of time. Plan ahead. Walk an extra block or two if it means paying less for parking. The lot right across the building where I parked was $20 and it was directly across Kilbourn. A block further and prices go down. Isaacs Parking by Hyatt is $15 for up to three and a half hours. That would save you half of what you paid last night. Research. Plan ahead. Simple. And I think one or more Ads fans would always be willing to help in assisting you with other inquiries. Just.. don’t assume they’re an extinct creature though.

  14. adsfan says:

    I agree with Mark about the concourses. “They’re not wide enough for that many people.” That was a game with 6500 fans, not 10,000! I could only get one lap in per intermission, versus 2 or 3 at the BMOHBC. There were too many people just standing in the wrong places and yakking away. I assume that will improve over the next couple games with some more fan experience. There was plenty of room over on the west side of the arena that was unoccupied.

    About the parking situation. I picked up the parking package at Isaac’s (at the Hyatt). It is narrow in that garage and the elevator lobby isn’t the best design. It is roughly the same as the City of Milwaukee lot just to the east of BMOHBC. (The one that is being torn down so the Bucks can get a new lot one whole block to the north. It is the stupidest idea in the new arena project.) Isaac’s has a few more exits and I was able to leave faster than the city lot. No employees blocked traffic or exits, unlike the idiots in the city lot

    The prices will go down when the Bucks aren’t playing at the same time. If $30 or $25 is too much to pay (and I agree that it so), try the Brewery lot at 9th and Highland. I used to park there for 75 cents an hour, about $3 a game, if you have a credit card. It is European style, without any attendants. There is also some street parking in that area, usually free after 6 PM. It is a bit of a walk to the game, especially in bad weather. There is a church lot at Highland and 8th. There is also a MATC lot around State and 8th and the Public Museum parking at State and 7th.

    The atmosphere in the arena was good. It will get better with time. Patience people!
    The team could use a little patience too.

  15. MUPANTHER says:

    Wait, the main seats went up to $25 per seat. I believe it went up $3.50 per seat for Admirals games. No big deal. Plus, as a season ticket holder, they gave the old pricing anyways. Something the Admirals didn’t have at the Bradley Center, that they have at UWMPA is $15 seats. Go check out what Wave fans pay for those seats. I’ll tell you it $31.50 per seat.

    Great numbers Daniel on the home opener. Plus, it was Halloween weekend with a major Badger game. Bucks game at the BC. Cubs in the World Series.

    As for the parking, there are cheaper lots south on 4th and 5th around Michigan Avenue. Plus, spots on the side streets which is free after 6pm.

  16. MUPANTHER says:

    Also, on parking. Admirals fans are just not used to being downtown when parking is $25, which is the norm for 12, 000 to 18,000 people for Bucks and Marquette game. It’s about 15 times of the Admirals home games this will happen.

  17. DB says:

    Regarding parking, you also had the Book of Mormon going on at the Marcus Center last night as well.

    As long as there aren’t conflicts, street parking is more than plentiful (especially up toward MSOE) if you don’t mind walking 3-4 blocks. Keep in mind that on Saturdays, parking is two-hours, but it’s free, you don’t have to plug meters. So get there after 4 PM and you’ll be golden. I’ll take a 5-10 minute walk to save $20 on a night like yesterday any time…that’s just good personal economics.

    Really like what was done with the arena proper. Looks and feels fresh again.

    Concourses are too narrow (but we already knew this), so any crowd over 5,000 will be a issue.

    South Goal Tap Room was nice. Lines moved slow, but they should get that figured out. Too bad the Admirals Ale blew before I could try it. Oh well, next time.

    Wi-Fi was good, had a few folks nearby streaming the Badgers game, and there weren’t any connection issues.

    It’ll take some getting used to, but the only complaints were minor that I noticed.

  18. STH says:

    The night left me wanting to run across the street and hug the Bradley Center at times. I know that the Admirals mantra and the theme here has been positive, sometimes borderline sugar coating this move to the arena. And I’ll admit that I’ve been a negative Nancy up until Saturday but I tried to go in optimistic. Even without the construction I knew that parking would be an issue in both price and quantity. Thankfully I’m able to car pool most nights making the monetary impact minimal. In a car of 4 we each paid $5 Saturday night. I certainly knew that the concourse would be a nightmare going in even without a full house. You get just two people that stand in the middle and it’s an immediate bottleneck. I had hoped that they would find some room for tables and chairs to sit and eat. I was very disappointed to find only a few standing tables, even in the tap room area where there’s lots of room for more seating. Thumbs up on the LED lighting. Thumbs down on the sound. I hope that improvements have yet to be made in that area because if those were the improvements then it was horrible. Sitting behind the glass made every announcement sound muffled or like the teacher from Peanuts.

    Sitting in the lower level though I was able to find some bright spots. We have our own fairly new looking bathroom down there, and we have our own concession and beer stand so if I don’t want to brave the hellish narrow concourse I don’t have to. And chairs with actual cushions!

    My number one complaint however is….you have all summer to plan and prepare and come opening night many season ticket holders seats on the risers were incorrect with fans told many reasons as to why. “They were incorrect a few weeks ago, they took them down, they put them up again Friday, they were still incorrect, there were two plans, it’s not our fault, it’s the contractors fault, we can try to fix it, and then no we’re not going to fix it.” Certainly had time to get that nice big logo on the locker room ceiling but making sure paying customers seats are right…..not so much. I understand that money for improvements doesn’t just fall out of the sky. But I do question putting some of the bill on the season ticket holders. If I’m paying $150 more for my seat then last season to help with these improvements then I’m sorry, I kinda expect the seat I picked out to be right. And if it isn’t right I expect it to be fixed or compensated in some way. I’m not trying to be a jerk but there’s got to be some level of customer service other than “Oh well”.

    It’s a shame that some of the issues had to overshadow the important business of what was on the ice, though that wasn’t too pretty at times either. Still trying to stay optimistic, hopefully things will iron themselves out as the weeks go on.

  19. MUPANTHER says:

    Let’s hope your risers problem will get fixed. Keep in mind, it’s not like it’s out all the time, since UWMPA has had different events over the last couple of weeks.

    Again, people need to buck up on parking. Your games won’t be played in a ghost town anymore. Park south!!

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