The Milwaukee Admirals won 4-3 in a shootout on the road against the Chicago Wolves at the Allstate Arena on Tuesday night.
After a frantic six-goal first period between the Admirals and Wolves: this game ended up needing a shootout. It has oddly been the Admirals bread and butter this season. The lone shootout goal would be picked up by the Admirals captain Trevor Smith as Anders Lindbäck denied all three attempts. The Admirals are now 11-1 in the shootout in 2017-18.
Things have been tight all season between the Admirals and Wolves. Tonight’s first period offered a new twist to that as the offenses pelted each other with speed, skill, and a combined six-goals.
Anthony Richard was first on the board tonight. He used his incredible pace to fly past Kevin Lough down the right wing, cut across the mouth of goal, and beat Oscar Dansk for his eighteenth goal of the season.
Teemu Pulkkinen wouldn’t be far off that goal. He used his speed to cheat behind the Admirals defense and get a breakaway. He measured Anders Lindbäck up before beating him five-hole on a backhanded shot for his twenty-third goal of the season.
The Admirals then burned the Wolves on the rush. Fred Allard zipped a pass across to Frédérick Gaudreau on the left wing, who dropped back for a cut across by Harry Zolnierczyk, and he dropped a pass back for Allard down the left wing. The first-year defenseman skated in and beat Dansk with a wrister from the left wing circle for his sixth goal of the season.
The Wolves would answer back fifty-nine seconds later. Beau Bennett had an intial shot stopped by Lindbäck that kicked along to Bennett’s run behind the net. He would snap a pass out the other side to pick out Brett Sterling all alone on the doorstep to score his thirteenth goal of the season.
Chaos really ratcheted up the minute following Sterling’s goal. Tyler Wong rang a shot off the crossbar and the Wolves kept dialing up the pressure. Eventually Philip Holm’s shot from the left point would get a redirect by Paul Thompson in front of the net to earn his twenty-first goal of the season.
With 2:57 remaining in the first period the Admirals would beat the Wolves with pace again to make it a 3-3 game. Bobby Butler worked off the right wing and the puck pinballed off the center-lane drive of Richard back to him. Butler edged towards the left circle before beating Dansk on a wrist shot for his twenty-fourth goal of the season.
Amazingly, this game wouldn’t see a goal for the rest of regulation or overtime. Pulkkinen had a breakaway in the overtime period that saw him clank a shot off the crossbar. Richard ended the overtime period with a breakaway but Dansk made the stop to force this one to a shootout.
There was only one shootout attempt that came good. Trevor Smith wound up down the right wing, hit the brakes en route to goal, and snapped a wrister past the stick-side on Dansk. The game would end with Pulkkinen having effectively his third breakaway bid on Lindbäck on the night. His shot went wide and the Admirals earned their eleventh shootout win of the season.
With the win tonight the Admirals trail the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division standings by five points. Both the Admirals and Rockford IceHogs, who were stationary tonight, have six-games remaining in their regular season schedule.
The Admirals are back in action tomorrow night when the Cleveland Monsters arrive to the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. The Monsters earned a 4-0 shutout on the road against the Iowa Wild tonight. The Wild’s winless skid as up to nine-games. After that the Monsters the Admirals will see these Wolves once again at the Allstate Arena this coming Saturday.
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals last played on Saturday there has been some big news from the organization. The Nashville Predators signed both forward Tanner Jeannot and goaltender Niclas Westerholm to three-year entry-level contracts. Tonight’s line combinations and defensive pairings were: Richard-Smith-Butler, Zolnierczyk-Pettersson-Gaudreau, Trenin-Gaudet-McNeill, Bollig-Zengerle-Moy, Carrier-Ramage, Allard-Granberg, Oligny-Dougherty. Tonight’s scratches included: Cody Bass (upper-body), Justin Kirkland (upper-body), Joonas Lyytinen (undisclosed), Trevor Mingoia (undisclosed), and Zeb Knutson (healthy).
What is your reaction to tonight’s game? How impressed were you with the Milwaukee Admirals ability to clamp down defensively as the game progressed? Equally, how impressed were you with the Admirals offense matching the pace of the Central Division leading Chicago Wolves in that first period?
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