The Milwaukee Admirals won 4-3 in a shootout against the Iowa Wild at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Friday night.
The game started out great for the home team, but the Admirals lost some momentum in the second and third periods. After some calls by the officials that had some Admirals fans scratching their heads, the Admirals seemed to lose some energy. However, Anthony Richard’s two goals and Harry Zolnierczyk’s game-tying goal and game-winning goal guided the Admirals to a thrilling shootout victory.
“Harry has been outstanding for us all year,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason after the game. “He’s been not only good on the ice he’s been real good off the ice. He has energy every day.”
In the first period both teams had spans of dominating the offensive zone, but neither team found the back of the net until 14 minutes into the game. Pat Cannone forced Jimmy Oligny to turn the puck over behind the net, with Cannone then setting up Christoph Bertschy perfectly in front of the net for the Wild’s first tally of the game.
Three minutes later, Luke Kunin was whistled for slashing and the Admirals went on their first power-play of the game. Anthony Richard gave the home crowd what it was looking for, tying the game at one with less than two minutes to go in period one. Joonas Lyytinen fired a slap shot and Richard got the redirect and found the back of the net for his eighth goal of the season. Not only that, but the newly called-up Lyytinen picked up his first career AHL point with the assist.
Just 2:45 into the second period, Kyle Rau gave the Wild a 2-1 lead on his ninth goal of the season. Rau used Petter Granberg and a screen and shot it from the left-wing circle to beat Anders Lindbäck near the pipe.
Anthony Richard then tied the game less than two minutes after Rau’s score. Richard took the puck down the left-wing and had a step on Ryan Murphy the entire way. Richard then took his forehand and cut across Steve Michalek and found the back of the net for the score. The goal was Richard’s second of the game and ninth of the season.
Less than 30 seconds after Richard’s goal, Joonas Lyytinen was whistled for tripping, which was then followed by a Jimmy Oligny slashing call. The Wild took advantage of the 5-on-3 power-play with a rocket off the stick of Alex Grant to give the Wild a 3-2 lead.
Later in the period the Admirals, along with the home crowd, thought Alex Carrier had tied the game at three. But after a brief meeting between the officials, it was determined that there was incidental goalie contact and the Wild escaped the second period with a 3-2 lead.
“Honestly, we went back and watched it, and [Zolnierczyk] does bump their goalie,” said Evason. “I think we would want the same call.”
The Admirals were able to tie the game at three apiece in the third period thanks to Harry Zolnierczyk. The Wild were whistled for a delay-of-game call and the Admirals went on a power-play. Emil Pettersson shot from the left-wing and Zolnierczyk got the redirect for his thirteenth goal of the season. Neither team was able to score again before the end of regulation, and the game headed to overtime.
With both teams registering two shots on goal but no scores in overtime, we headed to a shootout. First man up for the Admirals was Justin Kirkland. In the first round, Kirkland scored and so did Sam Anas. In the second round, Frederick Gaudreau scored and Zack Mitchell was denied. In the third and final round, Harry Zolnierczyk got the puck past Steve Michalek for the game-winning score and the Admirals defeated the Wild 4-3 in a shootout.
The Admirals look to carry momentum on the road as they travel to Rockford for a showdown with the IceHogs at the BMO Harris Bank Center on Sunday.
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals last played on Wednesday the only roster move within the organization was Joonas Lyytinen being reassigned to the Milwaukee Admirals by the Nashville Predators from the Atlanta Gladiators (ECHL). Tonight’s Line Combinations were Zolnierczyk-Smith-Butler, Richard-Zengerle-Gaudreau, Kirkland-Pettersson-Moy, Labrie-Bass-Mingoia, Murphy-Dougherty, Oligny-Carrier, Lyytinen-Granberg. Tonight’s scratches were Fred Allard (healthy), Derek Army (healthy), Tyler Kelleher (lower-body), Andrew O’Brien (healthy), and Yakov Trenin (surgery).
Thoughts on tonight’s game? Was this a bounce back performance for the Milwaukee Admirals? Can the Admirals follow up with another win on Sunday?
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