Ads Claw Back Against the Wolves; Win 3-2 in Shootout

(Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)
(Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)

The Milwaukee Admirals 3-2 in shootout against the Chicago Wolves Friday night at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.

After trailing 2-0 in the second period the Admirals clawed back with a pair of goals on the power-play from the Swedes Max Gortz and Pontus Aberg. The game required a shootout and in the end Aberg had the game-winning tally with Juuse Saros getting the stop on Brett Sterling to secure the first win at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena since the 1986-87 season.

“We’re just getting our feel here,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason of playing at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. “It’s such a wonderful building. So disappointed that we couldn’t get it done on the home opener for Harris [Turer] and the city. The guys are jacked, I know, to get it done.”

After an Adam Payerl tripping minor the Wolves were able to score from their second power-play opportunity in the first period. A low shot from the right wing circle by defenseman Brad Hunt kicked off the pads of Juuse Saros and into the path of Landon Ferarro for a rebounder. The goal for Ferraro was his second of the season.

In the second period the Admirals looked to have a prime chance to equalize after Félix Girard and Mike Liambas were set with a two-on-one from close range in the low right wing. Liambas was all alone in net but Girard’s pass was prevented by a sliding Hunt. In the following rush down the ice the Wolves made it 2-0. A tic-tac play from Ivan Barbashyov teed up Justin Selman for his first goal of the season and Selman’s second career pro goal.

On their fourth power-play of the night, having gone 3/37 on the man advantage this season entering the chance, the Admirals finally notched a goal. The passing by the Ads from the low right wing set the stage as Matt White pass to Trevor Murphy gliding across the front of the net before backhanding a feed to Max Görtz in the left wing where the net was wide open for him to score his first goal of the season and make it a 2-1 game.

The Admirals power-play struggles weren’t restarting anytime soon, either. The Admirals equalized with yet another Swede smacking a puck past Pheonix Copley and this time it was Pontus Åberg with a rocket from the left point that smacked the crossbar and went straight down for his third goal of the season to make it 2-2 late in the second period.

This game would fly through the third period and require overtime. The overtime period featured incredible end-to-end action including a save of the year candidate from Copley to rob Trevor Smith as well as a great stop by Saros on Hunt. It needed a shootout.

Copley was extremely aggressive in leaving his crease to track shooters. Gaudreau used that to his advantage to dangle in a backhander past him for the first Ads tally. Saros was a perfect 13/13 in shootout attempts last season. On his first shootout of the 2016-17 season he allowed a shootout goal from the first attempt as Magnus Pääjärvi slipped a shot underneath the pads to level the shootout at 1-1. After successive misses from Justin Kirkland and Kenny Agostino the overaggressive play by Copley came back again as Åberg’s backhand to forehand move had him way out of position to glide the puck through the crease and in. Saros was set at match-point to stop Brett Sterling’s chance and the Admirals earned a 3-2 shootout win after trailing 2-0 in the second period.

“It’s kind of 50-50,” said Juuse Saros after the game. “I always want to be good at those but it was good that our guys scored a couple there so I didn’t have to make every save.”

Although it is not ideal for the Admirals to spend so much time on the penalty kill their penalty killing group was terrific in tonight’s game. The Admirals went 8/9 on the PK against the Wolves and have improved their overall penalty killing percentage to 84% (42/50).

“It was a funny game,” commented Evason. “Clearly we can’t continue to kill penalties like we are. Having said that, I love to run our guys up on being undisciplined but we’re not. We’re giving the refs opportunities to call them, so it’s on us, but there’s so many penalties in the game that the flow of the hockey game is not fun.”

Saros did allow his first shootout goal in his AHL career tonight but he is still 15/16 and is a perfect 5-0 in shootouts. His twenty-seven save night helps him improve to 5-1-0-0 in net this season with a 1.82 goals against average and 0.933 save percentage.

The Admirals return right back to the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena tomorrow night at 6pm CDT against the spoilers of last weekend’s three-in-three the Iowa Wild. It will be the second game of a five game homestand for the Admirals.

Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals played on Sunday the team assigned defenseman Jonathan Diaby to the Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL). Diaby played in both of the Cyclones wins on Wednesday and Thursday while registering an assist in his Cyclones debut this season. With Diaby playing at the ECHL level the Admirals roster was trimmed such that there were no scratches for tonight’s game. In uniform number news, Admirals forward Justin Kirkland switched from #24 to #19.

What are your thoughts on tonight’s game? Was that the most entertaining/excruciating three-in-three overtime the Admirals have played yet?

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12 thoughts on “Ads Claw Back Against the Wolves; Win 3-2 in Shootout”

  1. Barbashyov’s hit on Dougherty was illegal and after the whistle. No penalty was called. But no penalty was called on the Chicago player who clubbed the linesman over the head in the third period. The two refs were good in the first period, bad in the second period, and close to criminally bad in the third period. The Ads were called for 4 penalties, but clutch and grab Chicago were called for none, including the two incidents above. Neither one was replayed.

    I thought that the Admirals looked disorganized in the OT period. I didn’t see Aberg on the ice. I didn’t see much of Kamenev. Gaudreau seemed to be out there too much. The Ads were gassed in the OT a few times due to the long change. The Admirals defense acted like the puck was a ticking bomb. They also turned away from the Chicago net several times without shooting. There were too many cutesy passes in the OT period. The saving graces were the play of Saros and the fact that Chicago also played like it was a little kids game. The AHL should go back to 4-on-4. I will vote for excruciating in the OT.

    Beating Chicago was good. Leading the Amtrak Rivalry 4 -1 in points is also good. Brett (Squirrel Face) Sterling is washed up. He will drag the Wolves down this season. I especially enjoyed Liambas with the big hit on him at the north blue line in the third period and Saros stopping him for the win in the shoot out.

  2. I forgot to add that the Admirals passing was poor. Florek was ineffective. He doesn’t use his size at all, kind of like Diaby. He needs to go; to Cincinnati or any place else. Payerl needs to stay out of the box. Liambis was very good on the PK. Milwaukee needed that to win tonight.

  3. Why do the highlights on the Admirals youtube channel suck so bad this year? Compared to last year, where they showed every goal from both teams and other close plays or hits. This year it’s just Admirals goals. Just complete crap.

    It’s not like they’re spending that time updating their app either, which hasn’t been updated since the end of the regular season last year.

  4. Peter: Unpaid student interns cut the video highlights.. I’m particularly fond of the highlights from the 2012-13 season, wink. That said, I’ll be passing on the exact same feedback. I’m disappointed Copley’s OT save wasn’t in here or the Wolves goals. I hate it when I see other AHL teams only cut highlights of their plays and it looks even worse when the team loses (Rampage’s opening two games this season).

    As for the App? I don’t have a clue if that’s fixed or operated on in-house or through the App provider. …all the more reason to nudge the Admirals front office to hire me full-time. I’m a stickler for details.

  5. Thanks for the reply. Perhaps I was a little harsh, it’s just frustrating going from the highlights we got last year to this. Even just getting the goals from the other team would be an improvement but I’d like to see big saves from both goalies as well.

    And the app, people are posting comments about updating it and just uninstalling it because there’s no point in having it when it hasn’t been updated. There is a feedback tab, so I’ll send them something on that and hope it gets updated in the next few days.

  6. I feel 5 on 5 we can be a pretty awesome team, we dominated play even strength got quality chances and didn’t give up a lot. The parade to the Penalty Box is getting bad, while Payerls tripping looked like a crap call most of the others need to be limited as little to “slappy” with sticks which results in some hooks and trips. Once we get the penalty issue resolved i think we have really nice team.

  7. Peter: I doubt it would get updated that fast. There are players who have long gone on there and I think a game where it says we’re playing the San Jose Sharks… which would be entertaining but not possible. My guess is the Ads had a different party create the App and they need to filter back and forth to get things corrected. As for highlights again. The interns usually rotate on assignments for a gameday so the first few waves of highlights will be -should be- the sloppiest throughout the season before they start gelling with video editing (can’t imagine everyone has that background). All a bit of a process here early for everyone.

  8. frontrowjon: I feel like Evason was pretty spot on in saying, they’re not the worst of penalties but they are giving the officials a chance or reason to call something. Most of the penalties seem to be overaggressive defensive style plays with the stick. You want that but you want to find the line of it being effective versus a penalty. Penalty Kill, awesome. Needing to be on it so often, not awesome. I also think the offense at 5-v-5 gets pasted to the outside/perimeter too much and is limited to on the rush style offense. If they race through the zone and score they’re good. They race through and come up blank and forced to cycle for something in-zone they get stuck sputtering with deep shots that get blocked or passes that need to wire through high traffic and get turned over. Need to find a better way to pull the defense and open up space/lanes.

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