While the saves and hits this season felt so-so the goals scored along the way by the Milwaukee Admirals were spectacular. This year’s team had such fantastic pace and skill which provided many great goals. That’s what makes this category the most difficult to really decide upon.
I’ve stuck to really three goals that stand out to me as your podium finishers. In saying that, depending on how you view it, these could really all vary on which goal stands on the top step of the podium.
The third best goal of the season in my eyes belongs to Vladislav Kamenev. On 12/12/16 against the San Antonio Rampage the 20-year old Russian toe-dragged defenseman Mason Geertsen and then snapped high-glove on Kent Simpson.
The second best goal of the season just so happened to be the first career pro goal scored by Yakov Trenin. “Why do I always travel to Rockford,” you ask. Because the Rockford IceHogs video quality on AHL Live is such that I likely would never have actually seen the beauty that was Trenin’s first goal as a pro. On 4/12/17 the Admirals were able to top the IceHogs at the BMO Harris Bank Center by way of their Russian duo. The game-winning goal on the evening turned out to be Trenin’s no-look spin-o-rama backhander gliding away from Lars Johansson in net and burying top shelf over his glove. It really is a high bar that Trenin set for himself to score a better goal than his first as a pro.
Yet, it was always going to be difficult to defeat this one. The Best Goal of the 2016-17 Season belongs to Kevin Fiala for this:
I must have watched this clip a dozen or more times and going frame by frame to appreciate the speed, stick skills, and sheer smoothness of Fiala to have done everything to record the game-winning goal on the road for the Admirals over the Charlotte Checkers back on 1/18/17. Allow me to do some breaking down of what Fiala actually did.
It’s three-on-three overtime. Fiala is on a slight odd-man rush down the right wing with Jack Dougherty joining him down the left wing. Standing in front of Fiala acting as a defenseman was Phil Di Giuseppe – a forward. Lucas Wallmark was backchecking on Fiala tightly. As Fiala skates in with pace Di Giuseppe moves off a touch to his right to break up a possible play to Dougherty. Di Giuseppe then gets down to take away space and Fiala instantly changes forehand to backhand to skate past a flailing stick check. Wallmark then overlaps off of Fiala which sends him free one-on-one against the AHL’s All-Time Shutout King Michael Leighton. Once there, in really no space at all, Fiala goes from backhand to forehand – then stickhandles away from a poke check by Leighton – hits the brakes – switches stance and begins gliding away from goal while cradling the puck like a yo-yo on his backhand – before depositing with the forehand over the top of a down and out Leighton’s left pad.
In short: Fiala is absolutely incredible and we here at Admirals Roundtable wish him the best of recovery from his injury. He will be back. And more highlights such as that will happen again. This goal came when he was 20-years old and frankly still learning. He’ll be back to this level once again. I don’t question that.
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