The Milwaukee Admirals won 3-2 in overtime against the Manitoba Moose at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Saturday night.
This was perhaps a game that the Admirals didn’t have any right earning a single point tonight. The Moose had them thoroughly out-worked on the evening but yet another multi-goal comeback in the third period saw the Admirals force overtime and then win eight seconds in through Mike Ribeiro to take the win over the Moose.
“He has been phenomenal,” smiled Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason. “I know people have heard different things of Mike Ribeiro. He has been the perfect teammate. He’s worked hard everyday – in practice, games. He has been so good for us.”
The Admirals didn’t make it easy on themselves in tonight’s opening period. They took three trips to the penalty box and the last occasion saw the Moose capitalize with a power-play goal. Kyle Connor skated off the left wing circle in towards the slot where a shot pass from the right point by Jack Roslovic went off his tape for a redirect. The goal for Connor was his sixteenth of the season.
It felt as though the Admirals badly needed some energy or a spark. This is where Adam Payerl stepped in with a fight against Scott Kosmachuk which ended in a flurry for the Admirals’ alternate captain. That was a decisive win for Payerl in the scrap that could almost go as a 10-8 in your fight cards with the punching advantage and knockdown to finish it.
The game wouldn’t see another goal until the third period and it was almost a carbon copy of the opener. J.C. Lipon fired a shot from the right wing wall that went to the net for a crashing Connor off the back post for a deflection past Marek Mazanec. It was Connor’s second tally of the night and seventeenth of the season.
Matt White would finally inject some life into the Admirals with a goal midway through the third period. As the Admirals were on their third power-play of the evening White had a solid angle down the left wing with Justin Kirkland screening Eric Comrie in net. He snapped a shot glove-side across the screen to get the Admirals on the board on the power-play with his eleventh goal of the season.
It was already a big night for the organization as Miikka Salomäki was making his return to game action after having been sidelined since December with a lower-body injury. The Finn marked his return with a breakaway goal and a dazzling one at that. Mike Liambas sent Salomäki loose and he dangled to a backhander which floored Comrie. All Salomäki needed to do was elevate past the glove and he did for his first goal scored in just his fourth game of the 2016-17 season to tie things up at 2-2. The goals for the Admirals were scored 1:32 of ice-time apart.
“Third period was phenomenal,” said Evason. “First two we got outworked, out-battled, and out-competed. And complete credit to them. We were trying.”
Tonight’s game, much like the first time these two met, needed overtime to decide it. Mike Ribeiro won the draw in overtime and proceeded to skate downhill for a two-on-one with Frédérick Gaudreau to the left wing. Ribeiro patiently waited for a gap, skated across into the slot, and snapped a shot into a wide open net as he had Comrie completely frozen to record his third goal with the Admirals and give them the 3-2 win in overtime.
“I was thinking pass,” said Ribeiro of the game-winning goal. “I was thinking pass, go backdoor with [Gaudreau], but [Gaudreau] was skating on his backhand there so I just decided to keep it and cut to the middle. The goalie was out – really out. I just happened to have a really open net there. It feels good to score in overtime.”
The Admirals next play on Wednesday morning at 10:30 AM CST for their second school day game of the 2016-17 season. They will be playing against the Cleveland Monsters on that day. The Admirals will then complete their four game homestand by facing the Rockford IceHogs and Chicago Wolves on Friday and Saturday next weekend.
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals last played there were two roster moves of note. The team released defenseman Rick Pinkston from his PTO Contract on Thursday. It is expected he will be rejoining the Manchester Monarchs of the ECHL very soon. Miikka Salomäki was officially assigned to the Admirals from the Nashville Predators on a conditioning assignment late this afternoon. He is able to play for the Admirals on loan from the Predators for three games before being required to be returned to the NHL. Salomäki will be wearing #10 with the Admirals on his conditioning assignment as his traditional #20 currently is held by Derek Army. Tonight’s line combinations were: White-Smith-Åberg, Richard-Ribeiro-Gaudreau, Salomäki-Kamenev-Payerl, Florek-Kirkland-Liambas, Oligny-Carrier, Murphy-Granberg, O’Brien-Dougherty. Tonight’s scratches were: Derek Army (healthy) and Adam Pardy (compound fracture to left arm).
What was your reaction to tonight’s game? Do you feel that the Milwaukee Admirals tend to play down to their competition level at times? Where did that comeback happen tonight?
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