The Milwaukee Admirals enter tonight’s game off of what was easily their worst performance of the season. They were soundly beaten 6-3 by the Grand Rapids Griffins at the UW-Milwaukee Pather Arena on Wednesday night and that was the follow-up effort after a 2-1 loss on the road against the Chicago Wolves. The Admirals could use a good result to rebound tonight as they will be traveling to Grand Rapids for a Sunday afternoon tilt. Their chance to do that comes in the form of an opponent that they have already seen three times – the Rockford IceHogs.
The IceHogs are currently on top of the Central Division with a record of 7-3-0-0 (14 points, 0.700 points percentage). They arrive after suffering their first road defeat of the season after losing 3-2 against the Cleveland Monsters on Tuesday. The Monsters netted the first two goals. The IceHogs equalized. And then Paul Bittner scored the game-winner just before the halfway point of the third period. The Monsters would close out to earn the win.
A difference between the Admirals and IceHogs since they last met would be facing the Griffins on home ice. The Admirals, we’re all aware of, didn’t have the best of times. The IceHogs, on the other hand, won 4-3 in a game that saw them down 3-1 entering the third period before exploding 14 shots on goal and three power-play goals en route to the comeback victory. Also, where the Admirals were outshot by the Griffins 43-20 on Wednesday, it was the IceHogs who pulverized the Griffins with an advantage in shots of 39-20. These just aren’t the IceHogs we’ve been used to over the last few seasons. They’re fast, skilled, and really aggressive on offense.
Fortunately, the Admirals first loss of the season came against these IceHogs at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena and the 6-2 loss seemed to open their eyes as to what the IceHogs can do over sixty-minutes. Their response was a solid 5-2 win in Rockford that saw stellar work by Anders Lindbäck in net that allowed for a comeback and five unanswered goals.
What’s great about this game is the Admirals and IceHogs are already very well acquainted at this point. The Admirals were not themselves at all on Wednesday and that gut check, combined with this familiarity, sets up well for them to get back on the right track. The IceHogs are still a fantastic and like-minded team. The Admirals need to do what they weren’t able to on Wednesday and take away their opponent’s speed and energy while getting puck control and establishing consistent attacking pressure. If they can do that tonight? It sets up very well for the weekend. Tonight’s gameplan shouldn’t be too dissimilar to what the Admirals need to do Sunday in Grand Rapids. There is no looking past the IceHogs – there is only executing correctly to sweep the weekend and get back to winning ways.
What are your thought’s for tonight’s game against the Rockford IceHogs? Do you prefer or dislike that the Milwaukee Admirals are seeing this much of one opponent this early into the season or does it help to get the IceHogs mostly out of the picture?
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