The Milwaukee Admirals lost 6-2 on the road against the Grand Rapids Griffins at the Van Andel Arena on Saturday night.
The Admirals four-game winning streak came to a thunderous end tonight in Grand Rapids. The push that the Griffins found late last night was evident in practically all sixty-minutes of tonight’s contest and the Admirals suffered. The focus now turns to the final two-legs of this four-game road trip which takes place in Charlotte starting Tuesday.
It appeared that the first period was playing out just as defensively sound as last night’s contest. That seemed to dissipate once the Admirals gave the Griffins a chance with an extended five-on-three power-play. Right as Pontus Åberg was exiting the box Matt Lorito tagged the back door drive of Martin Frk down the left wing for a shot past the glove of Marek Mazanec for his twentieth goal of the season and his career-high twelfth goal of the season scored on the power-play.
The Admirals’ first chance on the power-play tonight went bust and went bust hard. Mike Ribeiro turned the puck over as he was holding the right point into the path of Ben Street who flew off down the left wing on a shorthanded breakaway. Alex Carrier was trekking back defensively but Street’s shot snapped past the stick-side of Mazanec for a shorthanded goal and Street’s seventeenth goal of the season.
In the second period the Griffins would extend their lead to 3-0. Tyler Bertuzzi flipped a pass over to Dominic Turgeon who put a backhander in from the right wing bardown for his fifth goal of the season.
After failed power-play chances the Admirals did finally get one put together to break the Griffins run. A hammer shot by Trevor Murphy from the high left blueline whistled past the net front screen of Justin Kirkland and past Jared Coreau. The goal would officially be credited to Kirkland for his seventh goal of the season.
It took the Griffins a mere fourteen seconds to swiftly punch the Admirals in the gut with a response. Lorito broke around the left side of the cage and delivered a sneaky backhander that found a way through the left arm of Mazanec in net. The goal for Lorito was his fifteenth of the season and quickly restored the Griffins three-goal cushion to make it a 4-1 lead.
The rout would persist into the third period. Brian Lashoff cranked a shot from the left point that snapped down en route to the goal off the stick of Drew Miller for his second goal in the AHL this season.
As a four-on-three power-play for the Griffins was expiring the Griffins made it a 6-1 lead. Lorito put a puck towards the net that Mazanec mishandled and it suck through him to allow for the second goal of the contest by Lorito and his sixteenth goal of the season.
Jonas Gunnarsson would immediately enter in relief of Mazanec following the sixth goal allowed by the Admirals. Mazanec stopped 20/26 shots on goal tonight in 45:04 of work.
There would be another flash of the Admirals getting something positive accomplished on the night. Alex Carrier labeled a beautiful shot-pass from the right point that hit the back door camping Mike Ribeiro for his second goal with the Admirals to make it a 6-2 game.
The Admirals travel tomorrow to Charlotte where they will face the Charlotte Checkers Tuesday and Wednesday night at the Bojangles’ Coliseum. Both games take place at 6:00 PM CST. The Admirals return home next Saturday when the Manitoba Moose come to town.
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals played last night there were no roster moves made by the organization. Tonight’s line combinations were: White-Smith-Åberg, Richard-Ribeiro-Gaudreau, Kirkland-Kamenev-Payerl, Florek-Army-Liambas, Oligny-Carrier, Murphy-Granberg, O’Brien-Dougherty. Tonight’s lone scratch was once again Adam Pardy who continues to recover following a compound fracture to his left arm. Pardy has now missed the last sixteen games.
What is your reaction to tonight’s effort for the Milwaukee Admirals? Is this a smack back into reality for the Admirals? Did the Grand Rapids Griffins at the very least expose the weaknesses and faults that the Admirals must clamp down in order to succeed down the stretch?
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