Hitting the Road Right; Ads Win 4-2 in Iowa

(Photo Credit: Ted Sandeen)

The Milwaukee Admirals won 4-2 on the road against the Iowa Wild at the Wells Fargo Arena on Tuesday night.

It’s been awhile since the depth pieces for the Admirals really factored into the offensive efforts. That would change tonight as Mark Zengerle recorded a three-point night and Trevor Mingoia would score on his Milwaukee Admirals debut for his first career AHL goal. This all happened in front of, once again, another gem for Anders Lindbäck who made forty saves to win his eleventh game from fifteen starts.

The Admirals were off to a slow start in the first period. The frame would end with the Wild ahead on shots 15-5. That doesn’t matter much when the puck doesn’t go in, though, and the Admirals would strike first on the first shot of the game.

Steve Michalek was attempting to play a puck around his net and Mark Zengerle raced in on the forecheck to get a puck fumbled up by the Wild netminder. Zengerle would instantly seek an Admiral in front of the net and would find the newly recalled Trevor Mingoia would would score into the vacated net for his first career AHL goal.

In the second period the Admirals would extend their lead to 2-0 off of a power-play goal. Pierre-Cédric Labrie was entering the attacking zone and looking to help the group setup by dumping a puck down the right wing wall. Much like the first goal – this was a wacky one where Zengerle was in the right place at the right time. The puck ricocheted harshly in the right wing pocket and back towards the net. Michalek was looking for the puck to carry on around the boards but Zengerle deflected the puck right back in to score his first goal of the season.

The Wild would answer back with a power-play goal of their own. Alex Carrier would get called for cross-checking and it set the stage for Cal O’Reilly to turn back the clock and score a beauty of a power-play goal. The Wild captain had the puck from neutral ice, turned Petter Granberg inside out, and proceeded to step into the left wing circle and wire a wrister near post and high to the stick-side of Anders Lindbäck to score his fifth goal of the season and make it a 2-1 Admirals lead.

Carrier would make amends instantly. Before the Wild could feel good about their power-play goal and soak in O’Reilly’s brilliance Carrier snapped a wrister from the top of the right wing circle that Michalek fanned on with the glove before the puck flipped up and into the netting for Carrier’s second goal of the season. The goal was scored twenty-eight seconds after the Wild cut the lead to one-goal. And the Admirals were ahead 3-1.

Prior to the midway point in the third period the Wild would get a bizarre goal of their own. Brennan Menell’s shot from the point deflected off the net front presence of Labrie. It then took a secondary deflection off of Kyle Rau who slid into Lindbäck. The goal would stand and be credited to Rau for his sixth goal of the season to make this a one-goal game once again.

With 1:53 remaining in regulation Michalek made his way to the bench to bring out the extra attacker for the Wild. They would take their timeout five-seconds later to draw up a play with their net emptied. It would be for nothing though as Bobby Butler would pop a puck into the empty net to record his eighth goal of the season and make it a 4-2 Admirals lead. The game would finish at that scoreline.

Yet again Lindbäck was outstanding. The Wild pushed the pace this entire game and really had nice attacking pressure throughout the contest. The Wild played themselves a full sixty-minutes but Lindbäck stopped 40/42 shots on goal and now has eleven wins from fifteen starts this season.

The Admirals are now about to embark on an adventure the likes of which they haven’t experienced since the 2004 and 2006 AHL Calder Cup Finals. This Friday they will be playing on the road against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The last time the Admirals played in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton they won their first and only Calder Cup. And then on Saturday night the Admirals will play against the Hershey Bears for the second and final time this season. The Admirals won the first meeting of the season at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena by a final score of 4-1.

Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals last played numerous roster changes have occurred and has come as a result of activity from the ECHL. That issue has now been made more formally today as the Nashville Predators officially terminated their ECHL affiliation agreement with the Norfolk Admirals. This came a day after Milwaukee recalled Trevor Mingoia from the Norfolk (ECHL) as well as Rick Pinkston. Matt O’Connor, as well as Pinkston, have since been assigned to the Atlanta Gladiators (ECHL). Pinkston was loaned to Atlanta by Milwaukee. O’Connor was assigned to Atlanta by way of Nashville. It isn’t clear at this present time if Atlanta will become a permanent ECHL home for the organization or if the 2017-18 season will be more of a free-for-all as far as player trafficking goes between the AHL and ECHL. And, not to be outdone, Milwaukee officially suspended forward Stephen Perfetto today. Tonight’s forward lines and defensive pairings were: Zolnierczyk-Smith-Butler, Richard-Zengerle-Mingoia, Kirkland-Pettersson-Kelleher, Labrie-Bass-Moy, Oligny-Carrier, Murphy-Granberg, Allard-Dougherty. Tonight’s scratches were: Joonas Lyytinen (healthy), Andrew O’Brien (healthy), Stephen Perfetto (suspended), and Yakov Trenin (upper-body injury).

What were your thoughts on tonight’s game? How nice was it to see some of the Milwaukee Admirals depth factor directly into this win tonight? Are you running out of superlatives for Anders Lindbäck? Is it still troubling seeing the Admirals routinely being outshot by opponents this drastically?

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