The Milwaukee Admirals lost 3-2 against the Grand Rapids Griffins at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Sunday afternoon.
The Admirals three-game winning streak ends where it started a week ago at home against the Griffins. The win today for the Griffins makes them the first team in the Central Division to clinch a spot on the 2017 AHL Calder Cup Playoffs. The Admirals will have a chance to return the favor Wednesday on the road in Grand Rapids.
With the second shot of the game the Griffins broke open the scoring in the first period. Ben Street labeled a wrist shot from the left wing that flew across the grain of Marek Mazanec and beat him stick-side for Street’s twenty-fifth goal of the season.
In the second period the Admirals were able to equalize from their white hot power-play. Evgeny Svechnikov slashed the stick out of the hands of Alex Carrier. That allowed for Pontus Åberg to work his magic from the left wing circle where he faked a slot shot, measured a wrister, and sniped clean past the glove of Jared Coreau to record his twenty-seventh goal of the season.
As the second period was coming to a close Andrew O’Brien was given a minor for slashing. The Griffins scored with 20.2 seconds remaining in the frame on the power-play when Mitch Callahan gathered up a loose puck in front of the net and whipped in a wrister from the doorstep for his fifteenth goal of the season.
Midway through the third period and the Admirals pace earned them an equalizer. Anthony Richard nearly had a wrap-around work out but the puck flew off his stick. The same couldn’t be said when Åberg went for the same move except the puck got caught up in the pads of Coreau and trickled through to make it a 2-2 game. Åberg had his second goal of the game and twenty-eighth of the season.
The Griffins were motoring in attack shortly after and an attempt to skate up out of the zone by Richard saw him out-skate the puck. Dylan McIlrath took it from him and then passed off to Svechnikov low right wing where the Griffins’ Russian managed to smack a puck past Mazanec for his eighteenth goal of the season.
Brian Lashoff was called for a hooking minor with 2:11 remaining in regulation to give the Admirals a late power-play and chance to equalize. Mazanec made his way to the bench with 1:04 remaining to give them a two-man advantage. Yet, things changed with 34.9 seconds remaining when McIlrath and Mike Ribeiro had a coming together along the Griffins bench. That resulted in a the Admirals power-play being scrubbed off.
With 26.8 seconds remaining in regulation the Admirals earned an in-zone face-off and decided to use their timeout. The game would finish with a tripping call against Åberg as he was negating a push up ice for an empty net bid by the Griffins. And the Admirals would drop a 3-2 game on home ice.
These two teams will lock horns once again on Wednesday night at 6:00 PM CDT at the Van Andel Arena. Neither play until that tilt and it will be the Admirals last trip to Grand Rapids in the regular season. After that the Admirals complete their March schedule and only have eight games remaining. They open up a four-game homestand on April Fool’s Day for the first of two against the Texas Stars.
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals played in Manitoba on Friday night there have been no roster moves made in the organization. Today’s line combinations were: Richard-Ribeiro-Gaudreau, White-Smith-Åberg, Perfetto-Kamenev-Payerl, Florek-Army-Liambas, Pinkston-Carrier, O’Brien-Granberg, Murphy-Dougherty. Today’s scratches were: Kelleher (healthy), Kirkland (undisclosed injury), Oligny (undisclosed injury), and Pardy (broken left arm). Today’s attendance was: 6,587.
What were your thoughts on today’s game? Despite a rough first period -shots wise- this appeared to be a very close game: where did the Milwaukee Admirals lose out?
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