The Milwaukee Admirals lost 3-1 on the road against the Cleveland Monsters at the Quicken Loans Arena on Saturday night.
Perhaps the story of this game was summed up in the opening period: the Admirals power-play was off, the Monsters penalty kill was excellent. The Admirals failed on all six chances on the man-advantage tonight. Joonas Korpisalo for the Monsters was seconds away from perfection on the night. And the Admirals have dropped consecutive games for the first time since the overlap from October to November.
There was a very scary moment to start this game. Yakov Trenin was making a break from down the right wing and started to cut towards Joonas Korpisalo in net. Before he could get a proper shot off he was hit hard by Cameron Gaunce and Trenin was sent flying head first into the end-boards. The 20-year old Russian remained motionless for awhile but was able to get off the ice under his own power and with the assistance of his teammates. Gaunce was assessed a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct for the collision that put Trenin out just 2:42 into the opening period.
The first goal scored tonight wouldn’t come until the second period. The Monsters were able to get a tic-tac-toe passing series from the left point, around the boards, and get a pass by Sam Vigneault from behind the net that went to Miles Koules for a snapshot that beat Juuse Saros high stick side. After a lengthy review to see if the net was off its moorings it was determined that Koules had a good goal, his third of the season, and it was 1-0 Monsters.
The Monsters would add to their lead early in the third period on the power-play following a tripping minor against Jack Dougherty. Paul Bittner wired a wrister from the left wing face-off circle that flew against the grain to beat Saros high glove-side for his third goal of the season.
With two minutes remaining in regulation the Admirals used their timeout and kept Saros on the bench to go with the extra attacker. It would work well enough to deny Joonas Korpisalo a shutout as a shot by Emil Pettersson flew past the net-front screen of Pierre-Cédric Labrie and pinged off the crossbar and in for his fifth goal of the season. It cut the Monsters lead down to 2-1 with 27.8 seconds remaining in the third period.
Unfortunately, former-Admiral Joe Pendenza would be quick to score into the empty net moments later. Pendenza’s third goal of the season put this game at a 3-1 final.
Korpisalo was nearly perfect tonight. He made thirty-two saves on the night and narrowly missed out on a shutout. Your penalty kill can only be as good as your goaltender. Korpisalo and the Monsters were pretty much perfect in execution tonight.
These two will now travel back to Milwaukee. The Admirals and Monsters play at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Wednesday night for a 7:00 PM CST face-off. That is the beginning of a three-game homestand for the Admirals.
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals played on Thursday night there were no roster changes made in the organization. Tonight’s line combinations and defensive pairings were: Zolnierczyk-Pettersson-Kelleher, Trenin-Gaudreau-Åberg, Kirkland-Zengerle-Butler, Labrie-Bass-Moy, Oligny-Carrier, Murphy-Granberg, O’Brien-Dougherty. Tonight’s scratches included: Fred Allard (healthy), Matt O’Connor (lower-body), Stephen Perfetto (healthy), Anthony Richard (healthy), and Trevor Smith (undisclosed). Yakov Trenin, who was injured in the first period, did not return to the game and was taken to a local hospital for precautionary measures.
What are your thoughts and reactions to tonight’s game? Can you afford to say that this was Joonas Korpisalo’s night or is this Milwaukee Admirals group starting to cause concern? What must change after this two game set in Cleveland that can create some success come the three-game homestand that starts Wednesday against these exact same Monsters?
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