Listless; Admirals Shutout 3-0 in Hershey

(Photo Credit: JustSports Photography // Hershey Bears)

The Milwaukee Admirals were shutout 3-0 on the road against the Hershey Bears at the Giant Center on Saturday night.

For the second time in four games the Admirals have been shutout. The offense struggled to get going against the Bears and Vitek Vanecek was strong when called upon to earn a twenty-one save shutout tonight. The Admirals end a three-game road trip with a 1-1-1-0 record.

A common thread lately is seeing the Admirals concede so many shots on goal. That happened once again in tonight’s first period as the Bears pushed the pace and outshot the Admirals 15-5 in the opening frame. That is a single shot shy of the total amount of shots the Admirals limited the Bears to back on 10/20/17 when the Admirals won 4-1.

In that first period Aaron Ness would get the opening goal while all alone on the left wing circle. It gave him enough time to measure a shot on Juuse Saros through traffic and he roofed a wrister past the glove-side for his first goal of the season.

Trevor Murphy would win a foot race and earn a penalty shot in the second period. A loose puck spilled back to neutral ice and Murphy would get slashed on the wrist by Ness before getting a shot away. Vitek Vanecek would get a blocker save on the penalty shot as Murphy did a quick stickhandle and see his wrister shrugged aside.

The second period would end on a sour note as the Bears extended their lead to make it 2-0. Mathias Bau Hansen was low in the left wing circle and used Petter Granberg as a screen against Saros and labeled a wrister to the near post. Saros dropped into the butterfly and the puck flew over his right shoulder for Bau’s seventh goal of the season.

Right at the end of regulation the Admirals brought Saros to the bench for the extra attacker and Anthony Richard earned a power-play with 1:58 remaining. The Admirals pushed hard in the third period but there weren’t any late theatrics tonight as Jonas Siegenthaler put a long range shorthanded empty netter in for his second goal of the season that made the game 3-0 where it would finish.

Saros did have a really good night in net. He kept the Admirals in striking distance for the majority of this game and stopped 26/28 shots on goal. His counter part, Vitek Vanecek, wasn’t exactly tasked with many high level scoring chances by the Admirals tonight but he was there when needed to earn a twenty-one save shutout.

This completed a three-game road trip for the Admirals. They will be playing against the San Diego Gulls at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Tuesday night. That will serve as a pit stop between pretty well distanced road trips. Pennsylvania this weekend. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada is the destination next weekend when the Admirals take to the Bell MTS Iceplex on Saturday and Sunday.

Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals played last night there have been no roster moves made in the organization. Tonight’s line combinations and defensive pairings were: Zolnierczyk-Smith-Butler, Labrie-Kirkland-Kelleher, Richard-Zengerle-Mingoia, Bass-Moy, Oligny-Carrier, Murphy-Granberg, Allard-Dougherty, Lyytinen. Tonight’s scratches were: Andrew O’Brien (healthy), Stephen Perfetto (suspended), Emil Pettersson (undisclosed), and Yakov Trenin (upper-body injury). Matt O’Connor made his first start since suffering a lower-body injury with the Milwaukee Admirals. He was in net with the Atlanta Gladiators tonight and stopped 23/27 shots on goal in a 4-2 defeat at the Infinite Energy Arena against the Florida Everblades. In that same game Rick Pinkston registered a primary assist for his first point with Atlanta.

What were your thoughts on tonight’s game? What has happened to the Milwaukee Admirals since the start of November? Is this more of an offensive or defensive issue right now?

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