Gunnarsson Shuts Out Wild; Ads Win 3-0

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)
(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

The Milwaukee Admirals won 3-0 against the Iowa Wild Wednesday night at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.

He might not be seeing the net all that often this season but Jonas Gunnarsson came up big when required tonight. He stopped all twenty-five shots on goal to record the first career shutout of his North American pro playing career as the Admirals snapped a three-game losing skid.

“We talked to the group yesterday and we hoped that -that- was rock bottom,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason after the game of the three-game losing streak. “There’s only one way to go when you’re on the bottom and that’s up. And we did that.”

In the opening phase of the game the Admirals found themselves on a four-on-two rush that they were able to cash in from for a quick lead. Rick Pinkston, who had signed a PTO Contract with the Admirals from the Manchester Monarchs (ECHL) prior to the game, spearheaded the rush down the left wing and cranked a slap shot low that hit off the pads of Alex Stalock and into the path of Mike Liambas for his third goal of the season.

In sixteen seconds of the second period the Admirals were given their first power-play opportunity of the evening. The Admirals worked quickly on that power-play chance and saw a beauty of a backhander from Frédérick Gaudreau go in for his fifth goal of the season. Matt White had put a puck towards the net and Alex Carrier was rushing through towards the goal area. Gaudreau happened to cradle the puck out in front of Stalock, patiently move towards his blocker-side, and pop the backhander into the open net.

The Admirals made it three-for-three when it comes to scoring early period goals. Just 2:16 into the third period and Justin Kirkland smacked a slap shot from the left wing and it soared past Stalock for his first career AHL and Admirals goal to make it a 3-0 lead.

“That’s what it is all about,” smiled Frédérick Gaudreau when speaking about the night’s performances for Justin Kirkland and Jonas Gunnarsson. “To get night’s like that for those guys it feels good for everyone. We see them all the time in practice and they work so hard. So, for us – all the players, to see them having success like that it feels good.”

With 4:19 remaining in regulation, and on the power-play, the Wild brought Stalock to the bench to get the extra attacker on. This attempt to fight back was stunted with 2:49 remaining as Christoph Bertschy was called for a tripping minor. They would never attempt to bring an extra attacker back on from that point forward. And the Admirals shut the door with a 3-0 win.

Jonas Gunnarsson stopped all twenty-five shots on goal net tonight. This was only his fifth start of the season for the Admirals has the Swede has patiently waited for opportunities to play while Juuse Saros and Marek Mazanec traded places between the NHL and AHL. The calm effort in net that he provided help give a nice foundation for the Admirals to spring forward from and get back to winning ways and having fun back on the ice.

“That’s the thing that made us successful this year,” commented Jonas Gunnarsson. “We’re a tight group of guys that have fun together and play hard together. We felt like we needed to get back to that and I think that we did today.”

This was the final home game for the Admirals in 2016. They finish off the calendar with a road game this Friday night at 7:00 PM CST when they play against the Chicago Wolves.

Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals last played on Monday there was one roster move of note and it came not too long before tonight’s game. The Admirals added defenseman Rick Pinkston from the Manchester Monarchs (ECHL) on a PTO Contract. Pinkston follows the likes of Matt White, Zac Larraza, and Matt Leitner as PTO signings by the Admirals from Manchester (ECHL) in the past year. Tonight’s line combinations for the Admirals were: Zolnierczyk-Smith-Gaudreau, Florek-Kirkland-Bass, White-Kamenev-Åberg, Liambas-Girard-Payerl, Oligny-Carrier, Pinkston-Murphy, Diaby-Dougherty. Tonight’s scratches for the Admirals were both healthy: Max Görtz and Blake Kessel. In the second period of tonight’s game Cody Bass clashed legs between the bench-side area and left the game favoring his right leg. Bass did not return.

What is your reaction to tonight’s game? Was this a solid bounce back performance for the Milwaukee Admirals? How did you view Jonas Gunnarsson’s effort given just how little he has been afforded time in net for the Admirals this season?

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14 thoughts on “Gunnarsson Shuts Out Wild; Ads Win 3-0”

  1. Good crowd tonight, the largest that I have seen this season! It looked and sounded like more than 7287. I would have bet 8000 or more. It was good to see Gunnarsson get some goal support. Mike Liambis scored the GWG and his third goal this year. I am going to call that a Mike Liambis Hat Trick!

    “With 4:19 remaining in regulation, and on the power-play, the Wild brought Stalock to the bench to get the extra attacker on.” Yes, but Stalock came off around 5:13, the earliest that I have EVER seen a goalie pulled for a 6th skater. When there was a face off, Stalock came back out on the ice. Then the quote above happened.

    I didn’t get a good look at it, but Bass was hit low by somebody for Iowa. It could have been an accident. It looked like it was his right knee that took the brunt of the collision with his shin.

    Milwaukee played an energetic, smart and complete game tonight. They are back on game!

  2. Admirals crowd 7,287. Marquette crowd 14,886.
    Well done, Milwaukee!
    Pretty sweet having Admirals and Marquette fans high fiven each other, as the games let out.

  3. I went to the game on Monday. I also see on the highlights tonight. Why is it now after an Admirals goal, the light don’t blink anymore?

  4. MUPANTHER: The AHL doesn’t approve of that sort of lighting effect for in-game situations. I understand the reasoning behind that as well -if- someone had an itchy trigger finger for that and all of the sudden lights are off and on as a live puck is still whizzing around. Fun while it lasted. Not necessary though. I’d actually rather see the team celebrate in the light than get strobe effect lighting that takes away from it.

  5. It was a great game, energetic crowd and very busy hallways. Think of country nights, adding 2500 more people. Crazy.
    Still would like to know where Doug Agnew was.

  6. New era for the Admirals playing in a building that was 80% full last night. That south tap room is pretty neat. Big screen TV’s. More room to move around. Bathrooms that are not packed. I would like to see that area grow in 2017-18. Still there is some wasted space down there.

  7. MUPANTHER: It’s still a big learning experience for all of us I think. Had a chat with some of the ticket reps last night and we were talking about the importance of getting people in and out of the atriums more efficiently. We’re all learning and taking notes, really. Certainly fan feedback is going to be crucial early so changes that are pointed out by fans can get made sooner rather than later. So far, I’m a big fan of the look and feel that the place provides. I’m not in there as a fan though so there are areas of the fan experience that I don’t totally get to grasp like most. Certain concourse areas have choke points that could be fixed (e.g. having a concession stand directly outside the entrance to the pro shop). It was always going to be rough to start -but- as pieces get improved, fixes get made, renovations continue, I think this home will be made all the better for everyone.

  8. I agree Daniel. As someone who has been in the Arena over 100 plus times over the past 14 years for basketball, roller derby, etc, the Arena upgrades over the past 3 years have been out of this world!

    I went to my first Admirals game Monday in 22 years. The crowd was pretty big compared to most UWM games. I thought the flow was pretty good in the hallways. I will be back this season. Had a good time.

    The main point I’m trying to make to Admirals fans is you are now playing in an arena that games will have fans in most seats. Not like at the Bradley Center when a crowd of 5,000 results in 12,000 empty seats. That is why hallway space was easy at the Bradley Center.

  9. played alot better vs wild scored on the power play Gunnarsson’s played great not getting alot of playing time but showed he’s deserves more start’s was calm during game scoring first helps

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