The Milwaukee Admirals won 3-2 on the road against the Chicago Wolves at the Allstate Arena on Sunday afternoon.
After a rough game last night the Admirals really wanted an attitude adjustment today. They saw that with a much better team effort, a multi-goal game from Pontus Åberg, and another fantastic performance in net by Anders Lindbäck that put the Admirals right back into the win column.
In the opening period Brandon Pirri would hit two posts while Pontus Aberg would follow up with a shot off the crossbar during an Admirals power-play. The best scoring chance would come during a Wolves power-play which saw Teemu Pulkkinen on a two-on-one in front of the net get robbed cold by Anders Lindbäck sliding post-to-post and stacking the pads to deny the Finnish sniper.
The first period would close with a very spirited scrap between Trevor Murphy and MacKenzie MacEachern. Murphy got a few nice uppercuts through and MacEachern would get a takedown to finish the wild tussle. I’d say that fight is a toss up for how you’d like to score it in your fight cards.
The Admirals had a power-play that carried over from the end of the first period into the start of the second period. They were able to net the opening tally forty-one seconds into the frame. Frédérick Gaudreau moved the puck out of the right wing to the point for Harry Zolnierczyk who would then dish off to the left wing circle for Pontus Åberg. The Swede smacked a one-timer past C.J. Motte and scored off the far post and in for his second power-play goal in less than twenty-four hours of work.
The Wolves would answer right back with a power-play goal of their own. T.J. Tynan knuckled a shot towards the net front area from the right wing that Paul Thompson managed to get a stick to. The puck dived through Lindbäck and Thompson had his third goal of the season to make it a 1-1 game.
Shortly after an Admirals penalty kill Åberg would score his second goal of the game. Yakov Trenin threaded a beautiful pass from the neutral zone on his backhand that caught Åberg in stride as he motored in for a breakaway. He set up Motte backhand to forehand before scoring his third goal of the season. The goal for Åberg was also his seventy-fifth as a member the Milwaukee Admirals which moved him past Mike Santorelli for third all-time in goal scoring in the AHL history of the team.
That 2-1 lead for the Admirals would sadly only last forty-six seconds. Pirri, who had hit the post twice in the first period, rifled a wrist shot from the right wing circle that flew against the grain of Lindbäck and beat him stick-side for his third goal of the season.
It’s been impossible to not notice a change in the speed to Petter Granberg’s game this season. And, for the second time in 2017-18, the big Swede joined a rush and scored a goal. The Admirals had a four-on-three attack rolling into the offensive zone. Emil Pettersson down the right wing picked out the trailer in Granberg down the slot where he unleashed a heavy wrist shot high-glove past Motte to make it a 3-2 Admirals lead. In his pro career Granberg has never scored more than two goals in a season. He already has two goals in the Admirals opening thirteen games.
The Wolves would put up a strong push late and go empty net and extra attacker in the final minutes of regulation. With 35.1 seconds remaining, following an icing call against the Admirals, the Wolves burned their timeout and attempted to get a play worked. Lindbäck would again hold down the fort and battle to the horn as the Admirals would secure a 3-2 win.
You can’t really ask much more out of Lindbäck. He has been brilliant so far this season but especially in recent games. Today he made two point blank saves against one of the best pure shooters you will see in the AHL, Pulkkinen, and robbed him on both. Lindbäck made twenty-seven saves today and picked up his seventh win from eleven starts.
The Admirals next match-up against the Cleveland Monsters for the first time this season. Familiarity will come swiftly as the Admirals will be seeing the Monsters for their next three-games starting with two road games, Thursday and Saturday, at the Quicken Loans Arena. The conclusion of that three-game set takes place at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on November 22nd.
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals played last night there were no roster moves made within the organization. The Admirals dressed seven defensemen today so the line combinations and defensive pairings were: Zolnierczyk-Pettersson-Åberg, Richard-Gaudreau-Butler, Perfetto-Kirkland-Moy, Trenin-Bass, Oligny-Carrier, Murphy-Granberg, O’Brien-Dougherty, Allard. Today’s scratches were: Tyler Kelleher (healthy), Pierre-Cédric Labrie (undisclosed), Joonas Lyytinen (healthy), Matt O’Connor (lower-body), Trevor Smith (upper-body), and Mark Zengerle (healthy).
What were your thoughts on today’s Amtrak Rivalry game? How did the Milwaukee Admirals look in response to yesterday’s rough outing? Do you think this has been “message sent, message received” for Pontus Åberg?
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