The Milwaukee Admirals lost 4-2 on the road against the Chicago Wolves at the Allstate Arena on Sunday evening.
Despite getting out in front first, and having a tremendous effort in net today by Jake Paterson, the Wolves would do just enough to fend off the Admirals today. The win is the fifth straight for the Wolves and the Admirals end the three-in-three weekend on a slightly sour note.
It would be the Admirals getting on the board early today. Derek Army would smack a wrister from the right wing circle off the far post and the puck fell back into the path of Pierre-Cédric Labrie for a quick rebound chance. His shot flew in before Maxime Lagacé could reset in net and Labrie had himself his second goal of the season.
The Wolves nearly leveled things up later in the first period following their first power-play chance. Jake Walman skated up from the right point, down the wall, and cut across Petter Granberg before whipping a shot up on Jake Paterson. It looked as though the puck went off the back bar of the cage and out but, upon further review, it was determined to be crossbar and out.
That would be “No Goal” but the Wolves kept the hammer down and managed to get the score 1-1 in the first period. Paterson was tested numerous times and made some spectacular saves. The puck just couldn’t get cleared away from his crease and it allowed Beau Bennett to sneak a forehanded shot low that rolled through for his fourth goal of the season.
In the second period the Wolves would take their first lead of the contest. An attacking zone face-off win would see a shot taken immediately and ricochet in front of Paterson. Tobias Lindberg was able to get to a loose puck in the scramble and swiftly put a shot on target for his third goal of the season.
It would take the Wolves just 1:12 of ice time before tacking on another goal and extending their lead to 3-1. Walman might have seen a goal waved off in the first period but he just about pulled the exact same move to secure one that would count in the second period. He used Andrew O’Brien as a screen down the right wing before snapping a shot high to the near post on Paterson. The goal would go down as Walman’s second of the season.
Past the halfway point in the third period the Admirals would rally back and cut the Wolves lead to one-goal. Frédérick Gaudreau dished a pass from the right wing down the center for Anthony Richard whose shot quickly hit off of the mask of Lagacé. Before he could get a sense for what’s what Emil Pettersson pounced on the rebound for his eighth goal of the season making it a 3-2 game.
In the closing minutes Paterson made his way to the bench to bring out the extra attacker for the Admirals. That wouldn’t last all that long as a long range effort for Paul Thompson would coast into the empty net for his ninth goal of the season making it a 4-2 Wolves lead where the game would rest until the final horn sounded.
I can’t quite say enough how impressive Paterson was in net today for the Admirals. He hasn’t played an AHL game since the 2015-16 season and a game in general since the start of November as a member of the then Nashville Predators affiliated Norfolk Admirals. He battled right from the start and stopped 34/37 shots on goal. Given how big he came up for the Admirals time and time again it feels like a bummer he takes the loss in this contest.
The Admirals have now completed the three-in-three marathon this weekend but the road trip continues next weekend when they face-off against the Cleveland Monsters at the Quicken Loans Arena on Friday and Saturday. That will be the last set of games before the Christmas break for the Admirals. Their next home game takes place against these Wolves on the Wednesday and Friday after Christmas.
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals played last night there were no roster moves made within the organization. Today’s line combinations and defensive parings were: Zolnierczyk-Smith-Butler, Richard-Pettersson-Gaudreau, Moy-Zengerle-Army, Labrie-Kirkland-Bass, Murphy-Granberg, O’Brien-Dougherty, Allard-Carrier. Today’s scratches were: Tyler Kelleher (lower-body), Trevor Mingoia (healthy), Joonas Lyytinen (healthy), Jimmy Oligny (upper-body), and Yakov Trenin (surgery). This was Jake Paterson’s first start in the AHL since 3/20/16 as a member of the Grand Rapids Griffins and his first start overall since 11/3/17 as a member of the Norfolk Admirals (ECHL).
What were your thoughts on today’s game and the three-in-three weekend for the Milwaukee Admirals? Were you surprised to see the Admirals start Jake Paterson today? Would you like to see Paterson more after that performance? Will this week of rest and practice better help the Admirals in continuing to steady the ship?
Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along on Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.