Welp, here we are again: Milwaukee Admirals vs. Rockford IceHogs. This is already the fifth meeting of the season between the two teams and we’re just over a month in. In fact, with a win tonight the Admirals would have as many wins against the IceHogs as they do against all other competitors throughout their first twelve games. It may feel redundant seeing these guys this often -but- the IceHogs have already proven to be a highly skilled and explosive team. These early season wins can go a long way into who is sitting where by season’s end.
As it stands, the Admirals are atop the Central Division with a record of 7-4-0-0 (14 points, 0.636 points percentage). It had been a nice one-two between the Admirals and IceHogs to begin the first month of the season but the latter has started to stumble ever so slightly.
The IceHogs enter after having lost four straight games. The perhaps most punishing of that losing streak came at the hands of Vladislav Kamenev and his San Antonio Rampage last night at the BMO Harris Bank Center. Kamenev recorded 3 assists in a 6-0 road win for the Rampage. …yeah, that still all sounds bizarre to me. The IceHogs did a lot of damage to themselves in the contest as they provided the Rampage with 10 power-play opportunities, conceded 4 power-play goals, and allowed 3 power-play goals to be scored in the opening period alone.
That game should be a rallying point for the IceHogs. They had been losing games but -that- is the sort of defeat that demands retrospection and refinement. After tonight’s game the IceHogs aren’t tasked with completing any sort of weekend three-in-three so they should be emptying the gas tank tonight and fighting hard to get back into the win column. The IceHogs were leading the Central Division heading into the last meeting against the Admirals. Now they are fourth in the division with a record of 7-6-0-0 (14 points, 0.538 points percentage) which sees them trailing the Cleveland Monsters (0.600), Manitoba Moose (0.615), and you know who (not Voldemort, but us).
These are your projected lines for the Admirals tonight based on yesterday’s practice. Trevor Smith was participating once again but in minimal and non-contact activities. Anders Lindbäck was the only player on the roster not present.
Someone who was present yesterday was Mark Zengerle. He had been playing in Sweden with Linköping HC but things weren’t working out. He signed with his hometown team the Rochester Americans to an AHL contract but was claimed on waivers by the Admirals. It’s all a bit of a blur as far as his 2017-18 season is going. We chatted with him, and a few of his new teammates, to help preview tonight’s game.
UPDATE. Did I say, projected lineups? Well, you can blow that all up because it would appear these times they are a changing. The Nashville Predators have officially assigned Frédérick Gaudreau to the Milwaukee Admirals as well and Pontus Åberg on a conditioning assignment. Gaudreau started the season with the Admirals and scored 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) in 3 games. Åberg’s conditioning assignment can last no longer that two weeks (fourteen consecutive days) starting today.
What are your expectations for tonight’s game against the Rockford IceHogs? How do you like the addition of Mark Zengerle to the Milwaukee Admirals? If Anders Lindbäck is not able to start tonight did Matt O’Connor’s last start help ease your nerves with him in net?
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