The Milwaukee Admirals lost 4-3 against the Chicago Wolves on Friday night at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.
The Admirals’ four-game winning streak came to an end on a late power-play goal by Zac Leslie. The late decision for boarding against Petter Granberg proved to be controversial and decisive. The Wolves pushed their winning streak to six games. It is the longest active winning streak in the AHL.
“It’s embarrassing that we’re even on the penalty kill,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason of the late boarding penalty against Petter Granberg. “Our guy pushes their guy and it’s a penalty with three-minutes left in a hockey game? It’s embarrassing. It can’t happen. It just can’t happen. I’d love to go in and rip our guys for being undisciplined and taking dumb penalties. That’s ridiculous. It’s not a penalty. It’s simply not a penalty in our level or any other level – especially in a 3-3 hockey game where he gets pushed to the boards and falls down. It’s a joke.”
The only score of the first period would occur 11:38 into the game. Just seconds after Alex Carrier completed his two-minute hooking penalty, Wade Megan rushed down the left-wing and fired a shot to beat Troy Grosenick near-side over the right pad. The goal was Megan’s ninth of the season and gave the Wolves the lead.
Midway through the second period, Paul Thompson extended the Wolves lead to 2-0. Less than a minute after Paul Thompson exited the penalty box for his slashing penalty, Scooter Vaughan set up Thompson for the back-door goal to extend the Wolves’ lead.
“We didn’t have our best game the first two periods,” stated Evason. “There’s no question. We didn’t skate. We didn’t work as we did in the third period. Our consistency was non-existent as far as that’s concerned.”
Getting the Admirals on the board less than two minutes into the third period, Anthony Richard scored his fourteenth goal of the season to cut the deficit to just one. Richard was able to race down the right wing, cut hard across a defender, and wired a shot past Oscar Dansk in almost one motion for the highlight reel effort making it a 2-1 game.
That positive feeling wouldn’t last long for the Admirals. Less than two minutes after the Richard goal it was Thompson for the Wolves scoring his second goal of the game. Thompson was all alone in front of the net as a Ryan Wagner redirect was hit in by Thompson to put the Wolves back up by two goals on his sixteenth score of the season
Later in the period, Harry Zolnierczyk took advantage of a costly Wolves turnover after he cut in front of an errant pass and sniped a wrister bardown past Oscar Dansk glove-side. The goal was Zolnierczyk’s twenty-first of the season and cut the Wolves’ lead to just one.
Frédérick Gaudreau tied the game 14:34 into the third period on his sixteenth goal of the season. Mark McNeill and Frédérick Gaudreau skated down the right-wing as McNeill dumped the puck to Gaudreau who then fired a bullet past Oscar Dansk near-side to tie the game at 3-3.
With just over three minutes remaining in regulation, Petter Granberg was whistled for a questionable boarding penalty and the Admirals went on the penalty-kill. The Wolves were able to get the go-ahead goal on the late power-play chance thanks to Zac Leslie’s fourth goal of the season. Leslie dangled John Ramage to the ice and fired a shot past Troy Grosenick on what would prove to be the game-winning goal with less than two minutes remaining.
Soon after, Troy Grosenick skated to the bench with 1:21 left to play in the third period as the Admirals sent out an extra attacker. The Admirals couldn’t score, and the game remained 4-3 in favor of the Wolves.
The Milwaukee Admirals will stay at home for a Saturday night matchup with the Rockford IceHogs at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:00 PM CT as the Admirals will look to put tonight’s loss behind them for tomorrow night’s inner-division showdown.
“Rockford is a great skating team,” said Evason of tomorrow’s game. “They are really fast. We have to play even better than we did, more desperation than we did, in the third period in order for us to have success tomorrow. If we get off to the start we did tonight we’ll be behind the eight ball again.”
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals last played on Wednesday there have not been any roster moves made within the organization. Tonight’s line combinations and defensive pairings were Zolnierczyk-Smith-Butler, Richard-Gaudet-Gaudreau, Bollig-Pettersson-Zengerle, Kirkland-McNeill-Moy, Carrier-Ramage, Oligny-Granberg, Allard-Dougherty. Tonight’s scratches were Cody Bass (upper-body), Joonas Lyytinen (healthy), Trevor Mingoia (healthy), and Yakov Trenin (healthy).
What were your thoughts on tonight’s game? What were your thoughts on Jimmy Oligny in his return from injury? What were your thoughts on the late boarding penalty?
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