The Milwaukee Admirals lost 3-2 in overtime to the Iowa Wild on the road at the Wells Fargo Arena on Sunday night.
After a very rough start the Admirals held the fort, fought back, and forced overtime tonight in Iowa. It would end in bizarre fashion as Vladislav Kamenev lost an edge and gave a break for Alex Tuch that he would finish. The Admirals have one win from five games in April.
The start to tonight’s game couldn’t have been much worse than it was. A turnover from Trevor Murphy allowed Luke Kunin to fire a rocket past the stick side of Jonas Gunnarsson for his fourth goal of the season. The goal was scored in just forty-nine seconds of the first period and the puck pinged in and out of the net so fast that it needed to be reviewed to confirm that it was in fact a goal.
Another turnover less than a minute later would give the Wild their second goal from the second shot in just 1:36 of the first period. Trevor Smith’s attempted breakout pass was picked off at the blueline and Colton Beck was able to get a snap shot off from the low left wing to beat Gunnarsson for his fifth goal of the season.
After that second Wild goal the Admirals burned their timeout. Admirals head coach Dean Evason was visibly livid with the start. And that appeared to have a good response for the play that followed in the first period.
The Admirals would get off the mark when Vladislav Kamenev scored his twentieth goal of the season with less than six-minutes remaining in the first period. Yakov Trenin and Gustav Olofsson has slid into Steve Michalek in net. It appeared the Wild goaltender never fully recovered and wasn’t set once Kamenev deflected in a shot pass from Mike Liambas to cut the Wild lead to 2-1. Trenin earned a secondary assist on the play to record his first pro point.
Kamenev’s twentieth goal of the season meant that he joined Pontus Åberg and Frédérick Gaudreau to reach that plateau. It’s the first time since 2014-15 when the Admirals had three accomplish the feat. That season Austin Watson, Colton Sissons, and Viktor Arvidsson scored twenty-or-more goals each.
In the final minutes of the second period the Admirals picked up the pace and found an equalizer. Trenin sent the Admirals captain Smith free down the left wing and he was off on a two-on-one with Matt White on the right wing. Smith dished off for White who smashed in the shot for his fourteenth goal of the season. White now has forty points on the season.
This game would need overtime tonight. Kamenev looked to have lost an edge on his right skate and was unable to get the puck deep as he slid to the ice near his own blueline. Alex Tuch would pick up the puck, skate down the right wing, and then shoot stick-side on Gunnarsson to bury his seventeenth goal of the season to give the Wild the 3-2 overtime win tonight.
Credit must be given to Wild netminder Michalek who ends the season with four wins from four games against the Admirals. He stopped 39/41 shots on goal in the win tonight. His opposition Gunnarsson was snakebitten by the Admirals start but he did stop 22/25 in a rare appearance for the Swede.
The Milwaukee Admirals will continue with another road game on Wednesday night against the Rockford IceHogs at 7:00 PM CDT at the BMO Harris Bank Center. The Admirals will then finish off the 2016-17 regular season at home with games on Friday and Saturday against the IceHogs and Grand Rapids Griffins.
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals played last night there weren’t any new roster additions for the team. In the ECHL, the Admirals affiliate the Cincinnati Cyclones ended their 2016-17 season last night and the team missed out on the 2017 ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs. Tonight’s line combinations were: Richard-Gaudreau-Kelleher, Trenin-Smith-White, Kirkland-Kamenev-Payerl, Liambas-Army-Florek, Pinkston-Carrier, Murphy-Dougherty, Girard-Granberg. Tonight’s scratches were: Åberg (healthy), O’Brien (lower-body injury), Pardy (healthy), and Ribeiro (healthy). Tyler Kelleher left the game in the third period with injury and did not return.
What were your thoughts on tonight’s game and this weekend’s three-in-three? Was it right of the Milwaukee Admirals to shake up so much with their roster this weekend after having clinched a playoff spot or should they have kept the pedal down?
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