Teeth Grinder; Admirals Outlast Moose to 3-2 Win

(Photo Credit: Jonathan Kozub)

The Milwaukee Admirals won 3-2 on the road against the Manitoba Moose on Monday afternoon at Bell MTS Place.

After a dominant opening period it felt like Frédérick Gaudreau and the Admirals were on their way to a special afternoon on Family Day in Canada. Gaudreau netted two goals in the first period but the Admirals would be forced to cling to their opening three goal first period all the way to the final horn. Anders Lindbäck and company managed to thwart a massive push from the Moose in the third period to secure the victory this afternoon in Manitoba.

The Admirals might have played their best period of hockey to open up this game. They were all over the Moose in attack, especially on defense, and the results backed it up with a 3-0 first period lead in which the Admirals doubled up the Moose in shots 14-7.

Mark Zengerle would snap a shot from the right wing on Jamie Phillips that kicked off the right pad and back in front of his crease. Frédérick Gaudreau would be right on the doorstep to smack home the rebound and give the Admirals a 1-0 lead just fifty-six seconds into the game.

Moments later in the first period a turnover by Julian Melchiori in neutral ice would send the Admirals loose on a four-on-two rush. Trevor Smith had a drop pass for Harry Zolnierczyk who would then sweep across to the right wing for Trevor Murphy to hammer home his seventh goal of the season and announce his return back from injury with a bang.

Following successive penalties by Jansen Harkins and JC Lipon the Admirals had 1:22 of five-on-three power-play time to work with. Gaudreau would take center stage once again and follow the left wing face-off circle, lull everyone to sleep, and snap a wrister lightning fast that threaded through Phillips for his second goal of the first period and thirteenth goal of season. Gaudreau has now scored nine goals in his last ten games with the Admirals.

Follow their first power-play chance, that came and went, the Moose kept momentum going and scored their first goal in four-games. Cam Maclise won a face-off and Brendan Lemieux took a shot right off the draw to score his thirteenth goal of the season and draw the Admirals lead back to 3-1 in the second period. The goal for the Moose ended a goalless drought of 171:11 of ice time.

The Moose would tack on anther goal that also came inside of two minutes following a failed power-play opportunity. This time around, in the third period, the Moose would see a crafty play made by Buddy Robinson to whip a backhanded pass behind him as he swooped around the net to give Michael Sgarbossa an open net as Anders Lindbäck tracked the run of Robinson out the other side. The goal for Sgarbossa was his thirteenth tally on the season and made it a 3-2 game.

The entire third period was controlled by the Moose. They brought wave upon wave of pressure and even an Admirals power-play, which generated two shots, hardly slowed them down. The Moose wracked up sixteen shots on the third period and would bring Phillips to the bench to get the extra attacker out on the ice. Ultimately, the Admirals somehow managed to survive the persistent pressure of the Moose to secure a 3-2 win.

Huge credit should be given to Admirals goaltender Lindbäck who withstood much of the pressure that poured on him from the second period to the finish line. The Admirals were outshot 25-12 from the start of the second period to the final horn and Lindbäck helped minimize the damage as best he could en route to earning his twenty-first win of the season.

The Admirals and Moose square up yet again at Bell MTS Place on Wednesday night at 7:00 PM CST. The Admirals will then travel all the way down South where they will see the Texas Stars at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park on Friday and Saturday night to complete this four-game road trip.

Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals last played on Saturday afternoon there have been no roster moves across the organization. Today’s line combinations and defensive pairings were: Zolnierczyk-Smith-McNeill, Richard-Zengerle-Gaudreau, Trenin-Pettersson-Moy, Labrie-Kirkland-Mingoia, Lyytinen-Granberg, Oligny-Carrier, Murphy-Allard. Today’s scratches included: Derek Army (healthy), Cody Bass (upper-body), and Jack Dougherty (illness).

What is your reaction to today’s game? Where did the brilliance of that first period evaporate? Are you impressed by the Milwaukee Admirals composure to withstand that amount of pressure with the game on the line against a team as high quality as the Manitoba Moose to earn a one-goal victory?

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