Admirals Burned Late Again; Lose 2-1

(Photo Credit: Sam Iannamico)

The Milwaukee Admirals lost 2-1 on the road against the Grand Rapids Griffins at the Van Andel Arena on Sunday afternoon.

There were similarities to the Admirals and Griffins first encounter on Wednesday night. More than anything this was a carbon copy of last Sunday in Chicago. The Admirals were holding to a 1-0 lead into the third period before conceding a pair of power-play goals. It spoiled a great effort in net for Matt O’Connor and continued the whacky winning ways of the Griffins over the Admirals.

It wouldn’t be until late in the second period when this game saw its opening goal. Yakov Trenin won an attacking zone face-off back to Jimmy Oligny. The quick shot from the point was fended off by Tom McCollum but over to Tyler Moy on the left wing. The Harvard Kid would carry into the slot before rifling a wrister low stick-side for his second tally of the season.

The penalty troubles the Admirals found themselves getting into on Wednesday turned its ugly head once again today. The Admirals penalty kill had held serve through six shorthanded runs through the Griffins gauntlet. Unfortunately, giving a team like the Griffins up to nine power-play opportunities while clinching to a 1-0 lead is a recipe for disaster.

Past the halfway point in the third period the Griffins were on a power-play and ended up earning another call that had them working on a delayed penalty. Whilst in a six-on-four Filip Hronek looked to be dumping a puck in front center ice but his slap shot to Matt O’Connor knuckled straight down before it got to the glove and went in for his first goal of the season. On the follow-up power-play a point shot by Joe Hicketts ricocheted in front of O’Connor before Tyler Bertuzzi found the loose puck to score on a rebound and also score his first goal of 2017-18.

This mirrored last Sunday’s game for the Admirals on the road against the Chicago Wolves. The Admirals had a 1-0 lead as early as the first period in that game before conceding a pair of goals 1:58 apart from each other past the midway point in the third period to lose 2-1. Today, Moy scores in the second period before the Griffins score a pair of power-play goals separated by 1:25 past the midway point in the third period. Once again, the Admirals lose 2-1.

It is really a shame that the effort by O’Connor in net for the Admirals will get lost in the first goal alluding him and the instant response that cost him a win. He stopped 36/38 shots on goal and came up big in net. He just unfortunately didn’t get the offensive support to alleviate all of those power-play chances for the Griffins. It’s ultimately the difference. The Griffins made use of their nine power-play bids. The Admirals squandered their seven power-play opportunities.

The Admirals will return home following this game. It’s the first School Day Game of the season as the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena will host the Chicago Wolves for a 10:30 AM CST face-off.

Ramblings: Prior to today’s game the Milwaukee Admirals officially recalled goaltender Jake Paterson from the Norfolk Admirals (ECHL). Today’s line combinations and defensive pairings were the same as they were Friday night against Rockford: Zolnierczyk-Kamenev-Bass, Labrie-Pettersson-Kelleher, Richard-Kirkland-Butler, Perfetto-Trenin-Moy, Oligny-Carrier, O’Brien-Murphy, Lyytinen-Granberg. Today’s scratches were: Fred Allard (healthy), Jack Dougherty (upper-body), Anders Lindbäck (lower-body), and Trevor Smith (undisclosed).

What are your thoughts on tonight’s game? Did the Milwaukee Admirals ultimately shoot themselves in the foot with all the power-play chances given up to the Grand Rapids Griffins? How did you like Matt O’Connor in his second appearance in net for the Admirals this season?

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