Powered Up; Admirals Win 5-3 in Cleveland

(Photo Credit: Cleveland Monsters)

The Milwaukee Admirals won 5-3 on the road against the Cleveland Monsters at the Quicken Loans Arena on Saturday night.

If you are a fan of special teams hockey? Boy, was this game for you! These two teams had twenty-five penalty minutes from eleven infractions – each. The Admirals powered their way to the result tonight by scoring three power-play goals to sweep the two-game set in Cleveland.

It took the Monsters just eight seconds to score a goal and get a win in the fight department tonight.

Off the opening face-off the Monsters tried to dump a puck into the zone and the handle by Jimmy Oligny was fumbled into the path of Hayden Hodgson who swiftly whipped a shot past the blocker of Anders Lindbäck for his second goal of the season to make it 1-0 Monsters.

Behind that play, Pierre-Cédric Labrie and Brett Gallant quickly saw their opening face-off jaw jacking turn into a fist fight. It was a really good scrap but one that ended with Gallant getting the better of the exchanges. Gallant, 10-9.

Following a hooking call against Sam Vigneault the Admirals would level up in the first period with a power-play goal. The Monsters penalty kill was attempting to clear their zone by rimming a puck up the glass. It took a funky hop back into play and right to Trevor Smith who pounced at the chance to score his fifth goal of the season making it a 1-1 game.

The Admirals power-play would be at it again after Nick Moutrey tried to rough up Derek Army after a whistle. The puck movement by the Admirals power-play group was tremendous and it came to an end with Frédérick Gaudreau getting a tight pass to Anthony Richard camped out in front of Ivan Kulbakov to score his second goal in as many days and sixth on the season to get the Admirals a 2-1 lead.

Not to be out-shined the Monsters power-play would get on the board in the second period. After being put on a five-on-three power-play, following a contentious goaltender interference call, Dean Kukan was teed up by Carter Camper for a shot on the left wing circle that beat Lindback low glove-side for his first goal of the season.

For as many penalties were called tonight it wasn’t honestly surprising to see someone get a shorthanded goal. With 7.2 seconds remaining in the second period that is exactly what happened. Sonny Milano raced down the left wing and beat Fred Allard for a shot on goal that Lindbäck fought through. Milano stuck with the puck and was able to find John Ramage for a one-timed blast that went off a post and in for a shorthanded goal making it a 3-2 Monsters lead on his second goal of the season.

The Admirals might have gone into the second intermission a bit down but they didn’t show it in their start to the third period. Fred Allard would step up from the blueline, zip down the right wing wall, and then cut to the net where he would roof a wrist shot to the near post and over the shoulder of Kulbakov to score his second goal of the season and make it a 3-3 game less than two minutes into the third period.

Past the midway point in the third period the Admirals would regain the lead. Bobby Butler would take a face-off win from the Admirals captain and instantly wire a shot off the blocker of Kulbakov and in to get the Admirals ahead 4-3 on his eleventh goal of the season.

With a late chance on the power-play to put the game out of reach the Admirals popped in their third power-play goal of the night. Alex Carrier put a puck in Trevor Murphy’s wheelhouse for a one-timer on the right wing circle that flew through the pads of Kulbakov. Murphy’s third goal of the season made it a 5-3 game.

Despite a rally for the Monsters with the net emptied, extra attacker on, and using their timeout: the third period push from the Admirals had done enough. The Admirals sweep the two-game set in Cleveland. It is the first time since the Admirals opened the season up on a four-game winning streak that the team has back-to-back wins in regulation.

This was the final game of the Admirals four-game road trip and also the final game played ahead of the American Hockey League’s Christmas break. The Admirals will return to action next at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena when they see the Chicago Wolves this coming Wednesday and Friday before a New Year’s Eve showdown on the road against the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals played last night there were no roster moves made within the organization. Tonight’s line combinations and defensive pairings were: Butler-Smith-Moy, Richard-Pettersson-Gaudreau, Zolnierczyk-Zengerle-Army, Labrie-Kirkland-Bass, Murphy-Granberg, Oligny-Allard, O’Brien-Carrier. Tonight’s scratches were: Jack Dougherty (healthy), Tyler Kelleher (healthy), Joonas Lyytinen (healthy), Trevor Mingoia (healthy), and Yakov Trenin (surgery).

What are your thoughts on tonight’s game and the two-game set in Cleveland? Was this a bounce back weekend for the Milwaukee Admirals? How well is Trevor Murphy playing right now for the Admirals?

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