The Milwaukee Admirals lost 4-2 against the Iowa Wild on Saturday night at the UW-Milwaukee Arena.
In the final game of the 2017-18 season the Wild spoiled the Admirals party in front of a sellout crowd. The game tilted on a controversial non-call for a high stick by Matt Caito on Anthony Richard which was followed by a Gustav Bouramman goal seconds later. The Wild were able to maintain a lead until the finish and take fifth place in the Central Division from the Admirals.
“Our frustration level was pretty high,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason after the game. “We made some mistakes obviously that ended up in our net. It’s just a frustrating end to an up-and-down season.”
The scoring got kicked off early in the second period on Brandon Bollig’s eleventh goal of the season. Moments after Mark McNeill was given a penalty for playing with a broken stick, the Admirals got on the board shorthanded. The Wild turned over the puck right to Bollig in their own zone and resulted in Bollig beating C.J. Motte with a wrister to give the Admirals a 1-0 lead.
After a highly questionable no-call for a high-stick to the face of Anthony Richard, the Wild continued down the ice and managed to level the game at 1-1. Cal O’Reilly found an open Gustav Bouramman at the right circle and deposited the puck into the back of the net. The score for Bouramman was the first of his AHL career.
“I think they didn’t care what happened tonight,” said Evason of the on-ice officials. “Our group cared what happened tonight. He did not care about the outcome of the game and made that call based on that. You can’t make a judgement on a high sticking call. It’s either a high stick or it’s not a high stick.”
With under four-minutes remaining in the second period, Tyler Gaudet was whistled for a four-minute double minor penalty on a hick-stick. On the power-play, the Wild took the lead thanks to Alex Grant’s twelfth goal of the season. Grant took a shot from the top of the right point that snuck past Troy Grosenick for the go-ahead score with 0.4 seconds remaining in the period.
The Wild extended their lead to two goals early in the third period on Gerald Mayhew’s sixteenth score of the season. Justin Kloos took a slapshot from the top of the point and Kyle Rau followed that up with a shot of his own that trickled right to Mayhew for the backdoor score to give the Wild a 3-1 lead.
Soon after, the Admirals answered back with a goal of their own. Gustav Bouramman was sent to the box for tripping and the Admirals’ power-play unit was deployed. On the power-play, Tyler Gaudet got the Admirals within a goal thanks to his thirteenth score of the season. Frederic Allard took a slapshot from the left point that was deflected in front of the net by Gaudet and scooted past Motte for the goal.
The Wild found themselves up by two goals once on Alex Grant’s second goal of the game. Cal O’Reilly found a wide-open Grant at the right circle and rocketed a shot past Grosenick to put the Wild up 4-2.
With 2:11 left in regulation, Troy Grosenick skated to the bench for an extra Admiral attacker. The Admirals’ late attack couldn’t register a goal to narrow the gap and the Wild came out on top with a 4-2 final.
The Admirals finish the 2017-18 season with an overall record of 38-32-4-2 (82 points, 0.539 points percentage). The Wild have the exact same points at season’s end but claim fifth place in the Central Division based upon regulation and overtime wins.
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals’ last game in Iowa on Friday night, there have not been any roster moves made within the organization. Tonight’s line combinations and defensive pairings were: Kirkland-Gaudet-Mingoia, Richard-Smith-Butler, Bollig-Pettersson-McNeill, Trenin-Moy-Knutson, Ramage-Allard, Oligny-Granberg, Pinkston-Dougherty. Tonight’s scratches included: Cody Bass (upper-body), Alex Carrier (upper-body), Frédérick Gaudreau (withheld), Joonas Lyytinen (undisclosed), Mark Zengerle (undisclosed), and Harry Zolnierczyk (withheld). All scratches were on-hand in Milwaukee for the season finale. The “Black Aces” are expected to be announced in due time by the Nashville Predators.
What were your thoughts on tonight’s game? What can be taken away from this season? What are you most looking forward to next season?
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