Russian Through Rockford; Ads Win 2-1

(Photo Credit: Greg Hamil)

The Milwaukee Admirals held on for a 2-1 victory against the Rockford IceHogs on the road at the BMO Harris Bank Center on Wednesday night.

Tonight’s game was kickstarted by the Russian duo for the Admirals and saw a fantastical effort by Marek Mazanec in net. The Admirals finish the road portion of their 2016-17 season with a record of 23-11-1-3 (50 points, 0.658 points percentage) which is third best in the AHL.

“We challenged the group in the second period a little bit. We got away from doing the right things as far as getting pucks deep and trying to be a little too cute,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason after the game. “But we adjusted quickly.”

Vladislav Kamenev put the Admirals out in front midway through the first period to record his twenty-first goal of the season. Adam Payerl was working away from the goal line in the left wing when he gave a short pass to the Russian camped near the net front area. Kamenev smacked the puck up over the right shoulder of Lars Johansson to get the Admirals up 1-0.

The Russian fun continued in the first period but this time around Yakov Trenin got into the act. After an odd man rush between Matt White and Tyler Moy went bust the puck stayed deep and ended up skipping around the net. Trenin managed to get control of the puck and then whirl in a spin-o-rama backhander high to the glove of Johansson for his first pro goal. It was a beauty and, on the play, Moy scored his first pro point in his pro debut.

“It hit my skate and after the puck was very close to the red line,” said Trenin. “So, it’s a bad angle to shoot and I decide to do spin-o-rama and score.”

In the second period Marek Mazanec pulled off one of the best saves of the season. A rush down the right wing ended in a shot pulling wide into the right wing corner but Jeremy Langlois got his stick blade on it and redirected it on target. Mazanec was well out of position but flew back to make the diving glove save and keep the IceHogs scoreless.

That would remain the case until past the halfway point in the third period. Luc Snuggerud passed off from the right wing into the high slot where Kyle Baun hammered a shot on goal. Mazanec made the initial save by Tyler Motte was on hand to push across a rebound effort for his tenth goal of the season that denied Mazanec the shutout bid and made it a one-goal contest.

“He just made real solid saves all night,” said Evason of his goaltender Mazanec. “And some real point blank opportunities off of the rush. He was there to help us out.”

With 2:04 remaining in regulation the IceHogs used their timeout and went empty net and extra attacker. Not too far gone from that an Moy was whistled for a high sticking minor to give the IceHogs a late power-play on top of their extra attacker push. Despite the late threat the Admirals would hold on for the 2-1 victory on the road tonight.

This game concludes the Admirals road schedule for the 2016-17 regular season. They finish the season with a road record of THIS. They will see these very same IceHogs on Friday night back at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena for a 7:00 PM CDT face-off before finishing the regular season up with the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday night at 6:00 PM CDT.

“Obviously it will be nice playing at home,” said Tyler Moy following his pro debut. “It’ll be my first one at home. We want to be rolling into playoffs so I don’t think we can be taking any team lightly. We want to be at our best going in.”

Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals played on Sunday the Nashville Predators recalled Pontus Åberg to join them for the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Predators then signed Tyler Moy to a two-year entry level contract. Moy has joined the Admirals for the rest of the 2016-17 season on an amateur try-out contract and made his professional playing debut tonight. Prior to tonight’s game the Admirals brought back Stephen Perfetto from the Alaska Aces of the ECHL and also received Mark Visentin from their ECHL affiliate the Cincinnati Cyclones. The Admirals line combinations were: Richard-Ribeiro-Gaudreau, White-Smith-Moy, Kirkland-Kamenev-Payerl, Florek-Trenin-Liambas, Pardy-Carrier, Murphy-Granberg, Girard-Dougherty. Tonight’s scratches were: Army (healthy), Bass (lower-body injury), Kelleher (undisclosed injury), O’Brien (undisclosed injury), Perfetto (healthy), Pinkston (healthy), and Visentin (healthy).

What were your thoughts on tonight’s game? Was this the sort of response that you wanted to see from the Milwaukee Admirals or is the bigger key to now sustain this level of performance?

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