The Milwaukee Admirals won 3-2 in a shootout against the Manitoba Moose at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Tuesday night.
The Admirals started out strong thanks to Bobby Butler’s two-hundredth career AHL point and led after one period. However, the Admirals let their recent habits get the best of them and let the Moose take the lead in the second period. The game ultimately would head to a shootout with the Admirals once again coming out on top, making them a perfect six-for-six in shootouts this season.
“It’s a relief for sure,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason of the result. “Not only is it a big win because, obviously lost six in a row, but it’s the way that we played and the way that we won this hockey game.”
The Admirals got on the board first in this one thanks to Olympian Bobby Butler. Alex Carrier delivered a pass behind the net to Mark Zengerle, who then found a cutting Butler in the slot for the score. The goal from Butler was his twenty-first of the season and his two-hundredth career AHL point.
Later in the first period Jimmy Oligny was whistled for slashing but, after exchanging some words with the officials, found himself heading to the locker room early with a two-minute slashing penalty, a two-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and a ten-minute misconduct.
The Moose would use what was left of the Oligny penalty to get on the board fourteen seconds into the second period on a goal from Patrice Cormier. Sami Niku raced down the right wing and passed it to Cormier in front of the net where he would score his nineteenth goal of the season and make it a 1-1 game.
Shortly after, Jan Kostalek was whistled for interference and the Admirals went on the power-play. Buddy Robinson then delivered a short-handed Moose goal on a nifty wrap-around. Robinson wrapped around the goal and shot it off the skate of Fred Allard and found the back of the net to give the Moose a 2-1 lead. The shorthanded goal conceded by the Admirals was their eleventh allowed on the season which extends their league lead in that category.
It didn’t take long after Robinson’s shorthanded goal for the Admirals to strike right back with their power-play. Emil Pettersson passed to Trevor Smith in the low left wing who then found Frédérick Gaudreau at the top of the slot for a one-timer that flew past Eric Comrie and immediately tied the game up at 2-2 on Gaudreau’s sixth goal of the season.
“I guess we’ve been through so much adversity you learn from those situations and you learn to deal with them likely better than we have in the past,” said Evason of scoring after the shorthanded goal. “We didn’t sag. The guys were very vocal on the bench to stay up. We were able to regroup from that and play well the rest of the game.”
After neither team was able to find the back of the net in the third period or overtime this game wold require a shootout. In the first round of the shootout Justin Kirkland scored and while Mike Sgarbossa was denied by Anders Lindbäck. In the second round, Frédérick Gaudreau scored and Buddy Robinson was stopped by the pads of Lindbäck to secure the Admirals the win and end their six-game losing streak. The Admirals remain unbeaten from six attempts in the shootout while Kirkland improves to 5/5 in shootout attempts and Gaudreau is hanging right with him at 3/4 in the shootout.
“Well, [Kirkland] he just kept scoring in the shootout,” smiled Frédérick Gaudreau. “He goes. He scores. Gives me confidence. And then [Lindbäck] is a wall, as always. It’s much more easy to go in a shootout when you’re mind is free like that knowing you’re guy scored before you and your goalie is solid.”
The Milwaukee Admirals will look to carry the momentum from tonight’s win into the weekend’s three-in-three. The first game will take place Friday night on the road against the Rockford IceHogs at the BMO Harris Bank Center before returning back to the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena to face the San Antonio Rampage on Saturday and the Stockton Heat on Sunday.
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals’ last game Saturday night against the Manitoba Moose, there have not been any roster moves made in the organization. Tonight’s line combinations and defensive pairings were Trenin-Smith-Butler, Zolnierczyk-Zengerle-McNeill, Richard-Pettersson-Gaudreau, Labrie-Kirkland-Moy, Oligny-Dougherty, Lyytinen-Granberg, Allard-Carrier. Tonight’s scratches were Derek Army (healthy), Cody Bass (upper-body), Trevor Mingoia (healthy), and Trevor Murphy (upper-body).
What were your thoughts on tonight’s game? Do you think the Admirals will be able to carry this momentum into the weekend? What were your thoughts on Mark McNeill in his first game as an Admiral?
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