The Milwaukee Admirals lost 4-3 in a shootout on the road against the Chicago Wolves Friday night at the Allstate Arena.
This game had a playoff style atmosphere on the ice about it as both really grinded each other out for three periods. In the end, the Wolves would get the shootout win with Kenny Agostino popping in the lone tally in the shootout for both sides. The Admirals end the 2016 side of the calendar claiming a point on the road in Chicago.
Tonight’s opening goal was slightly unlucky on the part of the Wolves. When a puck got over to Pontus Åberg in the high slot he quickly let a wrister fly that went up and hit Andrew Agozzino in the face. The Wolves forward went down quickly, Pheonix Copley in net tried to wave towards his bench area for help, but a whistle didn’t come and Åberg quickly recovered the puck for a follow up shot that went past the glove of Copley for the Swede’s eighth goal of the season.
In the second period the Wolves would level things up at 1-1. Scooter Vaughan polished off a great extended attack by the Wolves in their offensive zone. He managed to loop around the left wing wall and use Jack Dougherty as a screen before shooting to the near post to beat Jonas Gunnarsson low blocker side for his fourth goal of the season.
The Wolves would claim their first lead of the night eight minutes later in the frame. A play by MacKenzie MacEachern put a puck to the net. In the scramble out in front of Jonas Gunnarsson the puck trickled out for Brett Sterling to get a shot on target before most could react and the wee-man had his sixth goal of the season.
The end of the second period saw yet another odd play in which a Wolves player went down with injury only to see the Admirals score seconds later. Harry Zolnierczyk and Petteri Lindbohm collided in the low left wing pocket. It appeared the two caught their legs in the hit with Lindbohm coming off the worse in the check. As the play kept cycling, Frédérick Gaudreau had plenty of space around where the initial collision took place to pass over to a wide open Zolnierczyk in the right wing for a one-timer past Copley to make it a 2-2 game from Zolnierczyk’s sixth goal of the season.
The two sides would trade goals quickly to open up the third period. On a Wolves power-play Wade Megan fired a shot that Gunnarsson stopped but the rebound fell free in front of the crease where Ivan Barbashyov was credited with getting the final push through for his twelfth goal of the season. Just 1:16 of ice-time later and the Admirals’ Russian would be lighting a lamp down at the other end of the ice. Vladislav Kamenev was sent free on a quick two-on-one by Matt White and the Russian stayed in a shooting position and whipped a wrist shot high glove on Copley for his ninth goal of the season to make it 3-3.
Tonight’s game would require overtime and in that stretch the Admirals did get a chance on the power-play. Despite burning their timeout to sketch up a play for that opportunity at four-on-three the Admirals came up empty. The Admirals were 0/5 on the power-play tonight.
This game could have well came to an end just a second prior to a shootout being needed. Sterling was off to the races on a breakaway and Gunnarsson stonewalled him to prevent the Wolves winning it in overtime. The game trickled into the shootout where only one man would score tonight, Kenny Agostino with a backhander that went through the five-hole, to get the Wolves a 4-3 shootout win.
2016’s side of the calendar is now complete for the Admirals. Their record now stands at 18-8-2-2 (40 points, 0.667 points percentage). They resume action in 2017 on Tuesday night at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena when the Rockford IceHogs show up for their first meeting of the season in Milwaukee.
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals played on Wednesday night there weren’t roster moves made in the organization. Tonight’s line combinations for the Admirals were: Zolnierczyk-Smith-Gaudreau, White-Kamenev-Åberg, Florek-Kirkland-Görtz, Liambas-Girard-Payerl, Oligny-Carrier, Pinkston-Murphy, Diaby-Dougherty. Tonight’s scratches for the Admirals were: Cody Bass (lower-body injury) and Blake Kessel (healthy). In the month of December the Admirals record was 6-6-0-1 (13 points, 0.500 points percentage).
Thoughts on tonight’s game? After such a dominant first period what happened for the Milwaukee Admirals in the second period that changed the tide? Are you happy with what you have seen from the Admirals in the 2016 side of the 2016-17 season?
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