A Composed Effort; Ads Win in Iowa 3-1

(Photo Credit: Ted Sandeen)
(Photo Credit: Ted Sandeen)

The Milwaukee Admirals won 3-1 on the road against the Iowa Wild Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Arena.

It wasn’t always pretty in this game but the Admirals did it yet again. They found some great efforts out of the likes of Adam Payerl, Harry Zolnierczyk, and Juuse Saros on the night to see their AHL best record continue in Iowa. For the Admirals this was their fourteenth win from their opening twenty games.

Last time out the Admirals were able to get an opening minute goal on the road against the Cleveland Monsters. That took them forty-one seconds to accomplish after a tally by Trevor Murphy. Tonight that was not only done again but bettered in the speed department.

It took the Admirals twenty-eight seconds to get ahead in Iowa tonight. Adam Payerl was on a two-on-one and fired a snap shot before a backchecker could clamp him down. Payerl’s shot sailed past Alex Stalock to record his sixth goal of the season and give the Admirals a lightning fast 1-0 lead.

The next tally wouldn’t come until the closing stages of the second period and would see the Wild equalize through Adam Gilmour’s fourth goal of the season. Sam Anas lofted a great pass down the right wing that hit the center lane drive of Gilmour on the tape for a backhanded redirect that flicked up past Juuse Saros on the blocker side to make it a 1-1 game with 29.8 seconds remaining in the second period.

For all the power-play struggles that both teams had in this game it would seem ironic that that’s what would be the game-winning goal for the night. That just so happened to be the case. Having been blanked on their first five chances on the power-play the Admirals scored midway through the third period when Harry Zolnierczyk netted his second goal of the season to restore the Admirals lead. Vladislav Kamenev took a chipped pass by Payerl and wound up for a slap shot, faked the shot, and delivered a perfect feed to Zolnierczyk as he roamed across Stalock for a redirect. It was nearly a mirror image of the Wild’s goal and it put the Admirals out in front 2-1.

As the Wild were getting closer to needing an empty net push the Admirals scored with 2:02 remaining in regulation. Cody Bass was trying to hit Matt White with a pass from the right wing wall as the California native was driving back post. Wild defenseman Zach Palmquist got in the way of the feed but ended up botching his clearance and the puck trickled through the legs of his goaltender and White was alone on the doorstep to push it across for his team leading eighth goal of the season.

After an empty net push was attempted the final horn sounded and the Admirals earned a 3-1 win in Iowa. This game had two great efforts in net between Saros and Stalock. Saros made twenty-saves in the game to earn his ninth win from eleven starts and his seventh consecutive win. Stalock allowed the three goals but did stop thirty-one Admirals shots tonight. He earned a tough luck loss as the Admirals defense really stepped up to prevent much of anything offensively for the Wild to be created. The Wild registered just three shots on goal in the third period.

The Admirals improve their AHL best record to 14-3-2-1 (31 points, 0.775 points percentage). They are the first team in the Western Conference to reach the thirty point plateau and join Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Lehigh Valley, and Hershey for the most points in the league. The difference being that the Admirals have played one to two less games than those teams resting at 31 points.

Next for the Admirals will be a travel day tomorrow. They go from Iowa to Chicago to Grand Rapids. They will then practice in Grand Rapids on Thursday before logging the first road game against the Grand Rapids Griffins this season. That will end the four-game road trip as the Admirals finally return home this Saturday night when they face-off against the Chicago Wolves.

Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals last played on Saturday there were quite a few roster moves made. The Nashville Predators recalled Marek Mazanec and reassigned Mike Liambas, Juuse Saros, and Pontus Åberg. Tonight’s line combinations for the Admirals were: White-Smith-Åberg, Zolnierczyk-Kamenev-Payerl, Liambas-Girard-Bass, Florek-Kirkland-Görtz, Oligny-Carrier, Murphy-Dougherty, Diaby-Kessel. Tonight’s scratches were: Anthony Richard (healthy) and Derek Army (healthy).

Thoughts on tonight’s game? Do you feel like the Milwaukee Admirals actually are a different team when Juuse Saros is in net as opposed to the other goaltending options that have played? Do you feel an NHL recall could be in the future for Adam Payerl and Harry Zolnierczyk given how steady and well they have played this season?

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