The Milwaukee Admirals won 4-3 over the Chicago Wolves at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Saturday night.
With four minutes remaining in tonight’s game the Admirals looked down and out against the Wolves. Vladislav Kamenev made two incredible plays that changed it all for the better as he scored a power-play goal to equalize and then twelve-seconds later he setup Adam Payerl for the game-winner in a thrilling finish tonight on home ice.
“Thank gosh,” laughed Milwaukee Admirals head coach of the twelve seconds that changed the night. “Real good goal by [Kamenev]. Really got us fired up. We needed to score on that power-play not only to get us close but to gain some momentum. We did and then we caught a couple of bounces.”
The Wolves had a near chance in the first period with a second remaining from their opening power-play chance. A shot by Alex Friesen flipped up on Marek Mazanec and hit the post and the goal light came on. It was waved off. And then the Admirals did it correctly.
Adam Payerl passed from behind the net and found Anthony Richard in the high slot. The youngest member of the Admirals then took a snapshot as he skated in on goal that whistled over the right shoulder of Pheonix Copley and in for his third tally of the season.
At the midway point of the second period the Wolves would level the contest. A turnover at the Admirals blueline allowed a counter attacking rush for the Wolves that resulted in a shot by Wade Megan off the pads of Marek Mazanec and an easy rebound from the doorstep for Samuel Blais to make it 1-1. The goal for Blais was his sixteenth of the season.
The Admirals would finally break out of wave after wave of defending in the third period to stretch their legs on a rush play. Jimmy Oligny spearheaded an attack out of the Admirals defensive zone and passed up ice to Vladislav Kamenev on the right wing. The Russian would saucer pass on the backhand to the center-lane driving Adam Payerl who smacked the feed on a backhander to score his ninth goal of the season to make it a 2-1 Admirals lead.
That lead wouldn’t last for very long. Mazanec attempted to play a puck up ice but his pass hit off of Brett Sterling and it allowed for a rapid scoring chance that would be polished off by Ty Loney for his second goal of the season. It became a 2-2 tie only 3:32 of ice time after Payerl’s tally.
“[Mazanec’s] clear there, that’s not him,” said Evason. “He came back to the bench and apologized to the group. I think that was maybe a rallying point.”
It would take the Wolves only 1:19 of hockey to score again. James Wisniewski hammered a slap shot from the center of the blueline that flew in bardown. It was the veteran defenseman’s first game in North America this season after having his contract with Admiral Vladivostok in Russia terminated and he marked his Wolves debut with a goal.
Following a Sterling slashing minor it felt like the Admirals were being given their last chance to make a solid push with 5:07 remaining in regulation. The Admirals power-play was able to get the breakthrough when Trevor Murphy dropped a pass across to the right point for Kamenev to hammer from one-knee and label the slap shot past the glove of Copley and into the top shelf for his tenth goal of the season.
“The guys on the bench were, you could feel, this was our last chance,” said Evason. “We were fortunate enough to get it and momentum was changed in a hurry.”
The building had erupted following the equalizing goal with 3:15 remaining in regulation and only twelve-seconds later they had even more reason to go bonkers. Kamenev had swooped down below the Wolves net and worked a puck out off of Reid McNeill and the puck laid on a plate for Payerl to rush in and put the Admirals out in front 4-3. The goal for Payerl was his second of the night and tenth of the season.
The Wolves went empty net and extra attacker with 1:23 remaining and then burned their timeout seven-seconds later. The Admirals would hold on and earn a thrilling win over their Amtrak Rivals in a game that saw them down and out until the final four minutes.
The Admirals will be finishing their three-in-three weekend tomorrow evening when they take to the road and play against the Rockford IceHogs. Some revenge will be in mind for Friday night’s game as the puck drops tomorrow at 4:00 PM CST. The Admirals will return home on Wednesday when Félix Girard returns as a member of the San Antonio Rampage.
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals played last night there weren’t roster moves made in the organization. Tonight’s line combinations were: Fiala-Ribeiro-Gaudreau, Florek-Smith-White, Kirkland-Kamenev-Payerl, Liambas-Army-Richard, Oligny-Carrier, Murphy-Granberg, O’Brien-Dougherty. Tonight’s scratches were: Adam Pardy (upper-body) and Rick Pinkston (healthy). Tonight’s attendance was 7,889.
What are your thoughts on tonight’s game? Is this the sort of result that can vault the Milwaukee Admirals? What is needed of this team to get consistent and mistake-free hockey going forward?
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