The Milwaukee Admirals won 4-1 on the road against the Grand Rapids Griffins at the Van Andel Arena on Saturday night.
The new look Admirals have started off the three-in-three weekend with successive wins. Tonight marked the Admirals debut of goaltender Troy Grosenick made thirty-six saves and earned a win as the group took a big step forward from last night. The Admirals end their regular season slate in Grand Rapids with a 3-1-1-0 record.
For the second night in a row the Admirals would be the first to strike. In the late goings of the first period a one-timer by Brandon Bollig off of a feed from Emil Pettersson was trapped in the pads of Matej Machovsky. Before a whistle came Mark Zengerle was quick to give a jab for a loose puck in the pads and managed to score his fifth goal of the season.
The Admirals ended last night’s game with only twelve shots on goal and also set a season low for shots in a single period with two shots in the first period. Tonight the Admirals put up eleven shots in the opening period.
Late in the second period the Admirals earned their first power-play after Turner Elson was called for a slash. Inside of a minute, Alex Carrier glided off the left circle and snapped a wrister that flew past the glove of Machovsky for his fourth goal of the season.
After the Carrier goal, Dylan McIlrath decided it to be a good time to grapple Carrier right after the post-goal celebrations near the Admirals bench. It was the second such time that the Griffins disallowed a goal celebration and saw two players get matching roughing penalties.
The Griffins bickering would continue after the second period horn sounded as Matt Lorito was called for a cross-check. The Admirals started the third period with a four-on-three power-play and would quickly make it a 3-0 lead. Trevor Smith dropped a pass back to the point for a Fred Allard one-timer that hammered hard off the end boards and back into net front traffic. Harry Zolnierczyk was quick to put the puck past the pads of Machovsky to earn his sixteenth goal of the season. The Admirals actually had the chance to celebrate this won without interruption.
Troy Grosenick’s Admirals debut would sadly not see a shutout like his NHL debut. The Griffins were put on a power-play following a cross-check from Zolnierczyk. Grosenick managed to make an amazing diving save to rob Evgeny Svechnikov but unfortunately didn’t control the rebound and it went back to Joe Hicketts who make it a 3-1 game on his third goal of the season.
With 2:59 remaining in regulation the Admirals sealed the victory off before a net could even be emptied for the Griffins. Bobby Butler sent the Admirals captain loose for a breakaway from the attacking blueline. Smith had an initial shot that was stopped by the right pad of Machovsky but he followed up and scored his eleventh goal of the season. The Admirals would take the 4-1 win in Grand Rapids.
Grosenick, a Brookfield, Wisconsin native who was named after Admirals goaltender Troy Gamble, earns a win in his Admirals debut. He stopped 36/37 shots on goal and only allowed a power-play goal after making an amazing save moments prior to it. This weekend was about seeing which of the two Admirals goaltenders would earn the Sunday start. Both have stamped a strong case.
The Admirals now quickly race back on the bus back home. They will face-off against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins tomorrow night at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. It will be the Penguins first game back in Milwaukee since the 2004 AHL Calder Cup Finals.
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals played last night there have mercifully been no roster moves made that would stretch this Ramblings column to epic proportions. Tonight’s line combinations and defensive pairings were: Zolnierczyk-Smith-Butler, Richard-Gaudet-Gaudreau, Bollig-Pettersson-Zengerle, Kirkland-McNeill-Moy, Carrier-Ramage, Lyytinen-Granberg, Allard-Dougherty. Tonight’s scratches were: Cody Bass (upper-body), Trevor Mingoia (healthy), Jimmy Oligny (upper-body), and Yakov Trenin (healthy).
What is your reaction to tonight’s win on the road against the Grand Rapids Griffins? Did you like the progressions made by the Milwaukee Admirals? What do you make of Troy Grosenick and who gets the start on Sunday?
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