The Milwaukee Admirals and Rockford IceHogs were in a really bizarre game through the first two periods last night. It was a track meet in which both teams were playing really fast, worked in transition, but both struggled heavily once they reached the final attacking third – really lacked quality finishing. Yet, right at the end of that second period everything shifted. The Admirals scored a power-play goal to take the lead. The IceHogs responded forty-two seconds later to equalize. They would score again 24 seconds into the third period to take the lead. And they never looked back as they earned a 5-2 win.
Welp, here we are again: Milwaukee Admirals vs. Rockford IceHogs. This is already the fifth meeting of the season between the two teams and we’re just over a month in. In fact, with a win tonight the Admirals would have as many wins against the IceHogs as they do against all other competitors throughout their first twelve games. It may feel redundant seeing these guys this often -but- the IceHogs have already proven to be a highly skilled and explosive team. These early season wins can go a long way into who is sitting where by season’s end.
The Milwaukee Admirals might have delivered one of their best team performances of the season in front of nearly 8,000 students this morning at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. The energy is always going to be astonishing with all of the kids screaming as though the future of Mountain Dew depended on it but really seemed to inject the Admirals right away. They would go ahead 3-0 after the first period and never look back. Desperate in attack. Desperate in defending. And another brilliant performance in net by Anders Lindbäck.
The Milwaukee Admirals are set to face their Amtrak Rivals at 10:30 AM CST on Wednesday morning. Ahead of the Chicago Wolves arriving to town the Admirals returned to practice today at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena twenty-four hours prior to the first School Day Game of the 2017-18 season.
When the rosters in the AHL switch from one season to the next it can be amusing to see those who cross enemy lines within the same division. Lately, it has been fascinating to see the exodus from the Rockford IceHogs to the Milwaukee Admirals. In the last three years there have been three players making the leap: Cody Bass (2015-16), Mike Liambas (2016-17), and Pierre-Cédric Labrie (2017-18). For Liambas it was a one-year pit stop around time with the Admirals. For Bass he was a one and done guy within the Chicago Blackhawks organization. But Labrie was competing against the Admirals with the IceHogs the last three seasons. It hasn’t taken him long to blend into Milwaukee.
Last season, I wanted fan requests to determine who and when players of your choice would be heard from in Fifteen. It worked a treat. We heard from several different people and had a lot of laughs. There was just one problem: the most requested player and most frequently referred to as the funniest player Admirals teammates had played with, Harry Zolnierczyk, was recalled by the Nashville Predators moments after being named Admiral of the Month last December and Milwaukee didn’t see him again. That’s the bad news. The good news? Harry Z re-signed with the Predators before the start of the 2017-18 season.
The Milwaukee Admirals were not necessarily poor when they lost 2-1 against the Chicago Wolves last weekend. They just flat out weren’t themselves in a 6-3 defeat on home ice against the Grand Rapids Griffins. And that needed to be squashed – fast. The Rockford IceHogs are a very comparable team this season to the Admirals. They are incredibly fast and can push a relentless pace for sixty-minutes. The Admirals desire to rebound wasn’t going to come easy. It wasn’t. But they got the result, a 3-1 victory, and more importantly a dash of their swagger back.
Last night’s 6-3 loss for the Milwaukee Admirals was rough to watch. Yes, it’s once again another hard night against the Grand Rapids Griffins. Yes, the Admirals have lost two straight games for the first time this season. But the Admirals didn’t even really look like themselves last night. That’s what concerns me the most. And they have a day to correct that before playing the Rockford IceHogs on Friday night before traveling for a road tilt Sunday afternoon against the Griffins. Adjustments need to be made in a quick amount of time.
Yesterday, we announced our Admiral of the Month for October as Emil Pettersson. The 23-year old from Sundsvall, Sweden has quickly adapted to the North American game and made an impact for the Milwaukee Admirals. Pettersson leads the team with 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) in 7 games and has done a great job at center and working both sides of special teams. Should he continue as he has started? It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see him getting involved with the Nashville Predators this season.
The Milwaukee Admirals were down 2-0 inside of eight-minutes last night. The Rockford IceHogs scored the opener at 1:38 to get their home crowd into it and the speed they were playing with was all to reminiscent of last time out when the Admirals lost 6-2. That narrative changed when a couple of Swedes got into the mix. Emil Pettersson scored a power-play goal with two-seconds remaining in the first period to get the Admirals on the board. And then Anders Lindbäck put on a performance – big saves across the board, huge on the penalty kill, and so smooth working on the puck to help out his defensemen. The Admirals won 5-2 in Rockford. And they now stand atop the Central Division heading into tomorrow night’s first Amtrak Rivalry game in Chicago.