The Milwaukee Admirals won 7-2 against the Iowa Wild at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Sunday night.
It took the Admirals sixteen seconds to get the jump on a tired Wild team. That set the tone for a Sunday thrashing that saw the Admirals put up a touchdown and smack home the extra point for good measure. Anders Lindbäck did his part again but the Admirals secured one of their better outings of the season in style to close within two points of the Wild.
“We played good, there’s no question, but we caught a team playing three-in-three,” stated Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason after the game. “They didn’t have the jump, especially early, and we were able to start correctly. I think we were able to take them out of the game early because they didn’t have the jump.”
The Admirals found the back of the net just sixteen seconds after puck-drop. After a Wild player fell down, Bobby Butler flew down the ice for a two-on-one break and wired a shot past Niklas Svedberg from the left-wing to give the Admirals an early 1-0 lead. It was his second goal of the weekend and team leading twenty-third of the season.
“When you are the starting five you hope for a great first shift,” said Anthony Richard of the start. “That was the perfect first shift. Bobby made a huge goal for us. After that it was just looking forward for the period.”
It wouldn’t be long before the Admirals extended their lead. 1:15 after Butler’s opening goal the Admirals took advantage of a Wild turnover from behind their net that bounced into the slot for Tyler Gaudet who quickly passed it to Mark McNeill on the back-door for a wide-open net and his twelfth goal of the season.
“Certainly scoring right away really jump started us,” said Evason of the fast start for the Admirals. “It probably set [the Iowa Wild] back too.”
The opening period fury from the Admirals would continue with another break from a Wild mistake. In an attempt to break from their defensive zone, a breakout pass went right on the tape of Trevor Smith who would then be free down the left wing for a breakaway. Before he could get closed down the Admirals captain unleashed a rocket of a slap shot from the top of the left wing circle that went bardown on Svedberg. Smith had his fourteenth goal of the season. The Admirals had their first three-goal opening period since November 8, 2017 against the Chicago Wolves.
Anthony Richard added onto the Admirals’ lead with his seventeenth goal of the season in the second period. After having narrowly missed out on one breakaway chance moments prior that rang off the post, Richard’s speed gifted him another breakaway on the same shift. He flew down the right-wing, edged towards the slot, and then went backhand to forehand for a shot over the blocker of Svedberg for the score.
“I’m just really happy for [Richard],” smiled Frédérick Gaudreau. “Everybody has kind of big expectations for him. He had a good year last year but this year he has really evolved a lot. He’s able to be really fast but in control. Every shift he is on the ice he is dangerous.”
With less than a minute remaining in the second period, Cal O’Reilly got the Wild on the board. Zach Palmquist fired a shot that was redirected in front of the net by O’Reilly. The puck found its way past Lindbäck to cut the Wild’s deficit to 4-1.
The Admirals started out the third period on the power-play from a Colton Beck slashing penalty that was taken late in the second period. Frédérick Gaudreau wasted no time as he got the third-period scoring started just forty-five seconds into the period. Smith found Gaudreau from behind the net at the left-wing circle and Gaudreau snapped a shot past Svedberg to get the Admirals power-play on the board.
Shortly after, Gaudreau notched his second goal of the night and eighteenth of the season. Gaudreau flicked a pass off the blueline that allowed Emil Pettersson to race into the zone. Pettersson’s initial shot was stopped but Gaudreau was in the right place at the right time to get the rebound to make it a 6-1 lead.
The Wild did get one last answer. Viktor Lööv circled around the net and dropped the puck in front of Lindbäck before being redirected to the back of the net by Pat Cannone. The score was Cannone’s sixteenth of the season and cut the Wild’s deficit to 6-2.
After having been close all night Yakov Trenin retaliated with a final score for the Admirals to push their lead back to five. Trenin took a shot from the top of the circles as the puck squirted past Svedberg for Trenin’s fifth goal of the season. The 7-2 final was the biggest win of the Admirals season having passed the previous high of five-goals scored in a single contest set ten times previously this season.
“I think we did our part really well,” said Anders Lindbäck of the performance from the Admirals. “We capitalized on chances. We were staying on them. We were really up tight on them. I thought we were solid all through the game.”
What’s next for the Milwaukee Admirals will be two days off. They will return to practice on Wednesday and will be looking ahead to a Friday match-up with the Texas Stars at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.
Ramblings: This afternoon the Milwaukee Admirals signed defenseman Nolan Valleau and forward Ryan Penny to professional try-out (PTO) contracts. Tonight’s line combinations were: Zolnierczyk-Pettersson-Gaudreau, Richard-Smith-Butler, Trenin-Gaudet-McNeill, Bollig-Zengerle-Moy, Carrier-Ramage, Valleau-Granberg, Oligny-Dougherty. Tonight’s scratches were: Fred Allard (lower-body), Cody Bass (upper-body), Justin Kirkland (upper-body), Joonas Lyytinen (undisclosed), Trevor Mingoia (undisclosed), and Ryan Penny (healthy).
What were your thoughts on tonight’s game? Is this seven-goal performance a preview of what’s to come for this offense?
Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along on Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.