The Milwaukee Admirals won 7-3 on the road against the Rockford IceHogs Sunday evening at the BMO Harris Bank Center. After countless chances came and went in back-to-back outings against the Iowa Wild the Admirals lit up the IceHogs on the road. This was the second consecutive loss for the IceHogs in which they allowed seven goals. Meanwhile, the Admirals are just happy to have tallied more than three goals in a game for the first time all season in an effort that snaps a three game winless skid.
The Admirals opened up the scoring in the first period with a great link up between Vladislav Kamenev and Matt White. The two forwards worked onside at pace with Kamenev snapping a pass behind the IceHogs defense to get White breaking behind them down the left wing. White delivered a crafty backhander as he swooped across Lars Johansson to open up the five-hole and let loose to score his third goal of the season.
Following a holding penalty against Justin Florek the IceHogs answered back quickly with a power-play goal. After the IceHogs secured the in-zone face-off Erik Gustafsson passed over to his left where Mark McNeill hammered a one-timer from the point to beat Juuse Saros from long range to make it a 1-1 game from McNeill’s second goal of the season.
The first two goals were separated by 1:03 of ice time. The two teams topped that by trading goals in the space of just thirty-two seconds later in the first period. During four-on-four hockey the IceHogs took a brief 2-1 lead after Martin Lundberg secured his third goal of the season. Then, once the four-on-four and brief abbreviated Admirals power-play ended, Pontus Åberg finally saw his hard work pay off with his second goal of the season to make it 2-2.
Through the Admirals opening six-games of the season they failed to record more than two goals in a game. That trend was finally bucked and bucked hard. The Admirals would score four goals in the second period alone and got the offense started twenty-five seconds into the frame. The Kamenev and White connection synced up again and this time it was the Russian who lit up Johanssan and the goal lamp. A give and go between the two forwards left Kamenev alone in the slot to score his second goal of the season and give the Admirals a 3-2 lead.
Trevor Smith would add his second goal of the season through a very clever veteran play. After IceHogs netminder Johansson fended off Smith’s initial scoring chance the Admirals captain would stick with the puck and bank a shot off of Johansson and in to extend the Admirals lead to 4-2.
Nearing the final six-minutes to play in the second period the goals came in rapid succession. White would add his second of the game following a rebounded shot to make it a 5-2 Admirals lead to increase his season total to four goals in his fourth game of the season. The IceHogs would finally stop the scoring run by the Admirals with a shot by Spencer Abbott that deflected past Juuse Saros for his fourth goal of the season. Unfortunately for the IceHogs, similar to the first period, they appeared to switch off right after scoring. Kamenev scored his second goal of the night just forty-three seconds after Abbott’s goal to restore the Admirals three-goal lead and make it a 6-3 Admirals advantage by the end of the second period.
With 5:21 left in regulation the IceHogs brough Johansson to the bench to get an extra attacker on while trailing by three-goals. The Admirals would cap off the night with an empty netter from Mike Liambas to make it a 7-3 Admirals victory on the road in Rockford.
The Admirals weren’t without scoring chances against the Wild in the first two-legs of this three-in-three weekend. Especially in the home opener last night there were many rebound chances where players just weren’t there to claim a rebound or stir up another rebound opportunity. Tonight it all came good. The line of Kamenev, White, and Frédérick Gaudreau really had a fantastic night. And credit to Saros in net as he stopped 31/34 in net to give the Admirals a foundation to attack from.
I believe a safe assumption would be for a solid day off for the team tomorrow following a three day span of Iowa to Milwaukee to Rockford and back. The Admirals end the October slate today with a record of 4-2-0-1 (9 points, 0.643 points percentage). They currently have the best record in the Central Division.
Next up for the Admirals will be a healthy five-game homestand over the next two weeks. They’ll face-off against the Chicago Wolves and Iowa Wild this coming Friday and Saturday at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals played last night there were no roster moves made within the organization and the team featured the exact same lines as the first two games of the weekend’s three-in-three. That meant Jonathan Diaby was once again a healthy scratch. The goal for Mike Liambas tonight was his first in the AHL since 2/5/16 as a member of the Rockford IceHogs. Liambas only scored a single goal all last season from 44 games. Liambas’ last goal as a member of the Admirals came on 3/27/15.
Thoughts on tonight’s game? Did the Milwaukee Admirals offense finally put the pieces together? Should all forwards get restored back with the Admirals, like at the start of the season, how do you not keep Matt White in the lineup?
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