The Milwaukee Admirals won 6-3 against the Cleveland Monsters at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Wednesday night.
A four-goal first period by the Admirals kicked-started the offensive attack en route to a 6-3 win to keep their playoff hopes alive. With a six-goal performance from the offense, and a solid showing from Troy Grosenick, the Admirals find themselves maintaining pace with a Rockford IceHogs team that won tonight in San Antonio.
“The first period was real good,” stated Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason after the game. “It could have been a game where we maybe weren’t as up as we should be for. But we knew that [Cleveland] were going to play loose and play hard. They always do. So we were happy with our start.”
The scoring started out with Harry Zolnierczyk’s twentieth goal of the season. Alex Carrier passed to Frédérick Gaudreau who then passed up the left-wing to Zolnierczyk, who then took a slap-shot past Kivlenieks far-side for the score.
The Admirals power-play was then deployed after a Garret Cockerill tripping penalty. On the power-play, Trevor Smith collected his sixteenth goal of the season to give the Admirals a 2-0 lead. Off of Frédérick Gaudreau’s shot, the redirect from Smith found the back of the net for the power-play score.
Tyler Moy later added onto the Admirals’ lead in the first period. From the top of the circles, Moy took a wrister that found its way past the glove of Kivlenieks with help of a Brandon Bollig screen. The score was Moy’s sixth of the season.
“That’s what we always hone in on,” said Tyler Moy of his goal. “Getting in front, get traffic there, and you never know what’s going to go in and just try to put it on net.”
Less than thirty seconds later, the Monsters got on the scoreboard thanks to Ryan Kujawinski’s third goal of the season. After Kujawinski put a puck up high from the left-wing wall, Troy Grosenick stood up and the puck ended up going under Grosenick’s arm into the near-post upper-ninety.
Shortly after, Fred Allard joined the scoring parade on his seventh goal of the season. From the right-wing, Bobby Butler dropped back to the slot and set up Allard for the one-timer that gave the Admirals a 4-1 lead.
The Monsters had a new netminder to start out the second period, with Jeff Zatkoff replacing Matiss Kivlenieks. Kicking off the scoring in the period was Mark McNeill, netting his fourteenth goal of the season and extending the Admirals’ lead to 5-1. Petter Granberg tomahawked a shot that hit off McNeill and scooted past Zatkoff for the goal.
Late in the period, the Monsters found their way to goal number two. Jefferson Dahl picked out the trailing defenseman and found Garret Cockerill who rifled a shot past Grosenick to make it a 5-2 game.
With the score still at 5-2 late in the third period, Jeff Zatkoff was called to the bench for an extra attacker. With an empty net, Emil Pettersson scored on a backhanded shot from the right-wing to give the Admirals a 6-2 lead.
After Brandon Bollig was whistled for tripping, the Monsters went on the power-play for a final push. On the power-play and with the extra attacker still out there, Garrett Cockerill fired a shot from the point past Grosenick for his second goal of the game. The late score would not be enough as the Admirals held on to win, 6-3.
“We obviously have to clean up some parts of our game,” said Evason. “But the win was a good win.”
Troy Grosenick stopped 34/37 shots in the victory, earning his first win in Milwaukee as a member of the Admirals.
“It’s definitely a special night,” smiled Troy Grosenick. “It’s pretty cool coming out hearing that applause when my name is called. Definitely one I won’t forget.”
The Milwaukee Admirals’ next game will take place in Chicago at the Allstate Arena on Saturday night with the Admirals continuing their final playoff push against the Wolves. The next home game for the Admirals is set for Sunday afternoon at 3:00 PM CDT at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena against the Iowa Wild.
“I mean, we are very aware,” said Harry Zolnierczyk of following the Central Division standings. “But, at the end of the day, all we can control each game – one at a time. That’s what we’re working with right now.”
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals last played on Tuesday night, there have not been any roster moves made within the organization. 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 were Cody Bass (upper-body), Justin Kirkland (upper-body), Joonas Lyytinen (undisclosed), Trevor Mingoia (undisclosed), and Zeb Knutson (healthy).
What were your thoughts on tonight’s game? How did Troy Grosenick look tonight? Can this offensive attack stay strong for the final push?
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