The Milwaukee Admirals won 3-1 against the Grand Rapids Griffins Wednesday night at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.
The Admirals point streak has hit nine-games and, with the win over the Griffins tonight, they have beaten every team they’ve faced on the calendar so far through the first fifteen games of the season through eight opponents.
“Some of these games could have went either way,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason after the game. “Certainly the Cleveland games. Tonight, although it was 3-0 for a lot of the game, it’s a tight hockey game. We realize that we’ve been fortunate to get the right end of it but we do know that we’re playing good hockey and in all three zones as well.”
A good cycle from the Admirals top line tonight put them on top early. Matt White was swooping South from the left wing corner along the boards and passed to Trevor Smith who was charging North. The Admirals captain snapped a quick release shot into the top shelf over Jared Coreau to record his fourth goal of the season to give the Admirals a 1-0 first period lead.
The Admirals captain wouldn’t be done there, either. After a stretch of penalties in the second period the Ads would extend their lead with a power-play goal. Kevin Fiala fumbled the pass to him by Frédérick Gaudreau which caused a double clutch on his part to get a shot to the net. Once the Swiss native did release a shot the puck spilled off of Coreau and free to the net front presence of Smith to score his second goal of the night and fifth on the season to make it 2-0.
“He’s our captain for a reason,” said Evason of Trevor Smith. “He’s a pro. He works so hard. He is committed. He is great in the room. He’s such a professional and a team-first guy. He is nothing but positive for our group.”
With the Admirals scoring that power-play goal it snapped a run of twenty-eight consecutive penalty kills by the Griffins. That penalty kill streak lasted a total of nine games with the last power-play goal allowed by the Griffins coming on the road against the Charlotte Checkers on 10/29/16.
And as tough as that penalty kill was for the Griffins the Admirals would light the lamp once more on the power-play. Martin Frk sat for a high sticking call in the third period which set the stage for Vladislav Kamenev to score his fourth goal of the season. The Russian was stationed in the right wing circle and released a low wrister that trickled underneath Coreau for the Admirals second power-play goal of the night to make it a 3-0 lead.
The Griffins would deny the Admirals shutout bid after receiving a full two-minute five-on-three power-play following a high sticking minor from Jimmy Oligny and an unsportsmanlike conduct call against Petter Granberg. Robbie Russo’s one-timer from the high left point hit off the end boards and came out the opposite side of the net for Tomas Jurco to score into a wide open net as Juuse Saros had bitten hard from the initial shot attempt. The tally for Jurco was his first of the season and came in the first game of his conditioning assignment from the Detroit Red Wings.
It might not have been a shutout then for Juuse Saros but the 21-year old Finn had yet another terrific performance in net for the Admirals. He only allowed the lone goal that came from a two-man advantage for the Griffins. The other twenty-eight shots to the net he dealt with easily to earn his eighth win of the season.
The Admirals will next travel to face-off against the Rockford IceHogs on the road on Friday night. They will then return home Saturday night to play against the Manitoba Moose for the first time this season.
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals last played on Saturday night in Cleveland the team reassigned Anthony Richard and Jonathan Diaby to the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL. With the roster trimmed down the lone scratch for the Admirals tonight was defenseman Jack Dougherty who was a healthy scratch.
Thoughts on tonight’s game? Was this the best performance by the Milwaukee Admirals of the season so far?
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