I’m not sure what it is about the second period lately. Heck, even the team isn’t all that sure of what to make of it. I suppose at day’s end it is far better for the hiccup to come in the second than the third period -but- it certainly would be nice for it to be a non-issue.
Still, the damage limitation was there for the Milwaukee Admirals who kept the brunt of the Rockford IceHogs attacks to that second period. Marek Mazanec was a rock for the majority of the contest and it helped the Admirals weather what could have been a worse storm in that second period when they were outshot 16-7.
At this point I am not sure what more can be said for the efforts of Pontus Åberg and Frédérick Gaudreau. In my eyes they are playing the best hockey of their professional playing careers and doing it at the exact same time on different forward lines. In his last 15 games Åberg has produced 17 points (11 goals, 6 assists). Meanwhile Gaudreau has recorded 23 points (15 goals, 8 assists) from his last 17 games. These two have been putting the Admirals on their back lately and excelling at carrying the weight.
Another fun sight from tonight’s game were the unlikely contributions from those who probably weren’t even on the radar at the start of the season. Andrew O’Brien seems to be fitting in better and better with every game and has now surpassed the amount of goals that the man he was swapped with, Max Görtz, scored with the Admirals. Derek Army once again played a very steady and hard game. And Stephen Perfetto, who wasn’t even announced as an Admiral formally until today, looked like he had been on the roster for a solid length. It was only Perfetto’s fourth career AHL contest and the game’s opening goal was all him.
Tonight marked the final appearance of Miikka Salomäki on his long-term injury loan. I never noticed him dishing out his typical style of checking or physical play but the bottom line is that he played 3 games – which -on paper- is all he had played this season but he really only had the season opener with the Nashville Predators as a complete game that he had played prior to this. I felt his timing was much better in tonight’s game and, as you’ll hear him say himself, his leg feels good after having played tonight. He’s ready to return to the Predators when he’s needed.
There was a lull again. That’s just true. Yet, there was far more right than wrong out of the Admirals performance tonight with several issues that cropped up on Wednesday’s AM game clamped down. That’s an important thing to see given that the Amtrak Rivals and their high powered offense arrive tomorrow night.
After tonight’s game I had the chance to catch up with Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason as well as Gaudreau, O’Brien, and Salomäki These were tonight’s post-game comments following the Admirals 5-2 win over the IceHogs.
Comments on the comments? How will the Milwaukee Admirals handle the offense of the Chicago Wolves tomorrow and what happens if they have a lull period against them?
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