Fifteen with Justin Kirkland

(Photo Credit: Ted Sandeen)

(Photo Credit: Ted Sandeen)

Often times it is said that the transition from juniors to the professional ranks is made easier when players are able to join at the end of the season. It helps eliminate many questions long before that debut season of pro hockey begins: knowing the coaches and players, the city you’ll be living in, etc. Some get the chance to play. Jack Dougherty, Aaron Irving, Anthony Richard, and Yakov Trenin all did that last season. Even if they don’t get the chance to play the benefits of being around the group and learning the surroundings is a boost. Alex Carrier was in that boat last season. As for Justin Kirkland? He missed out on that opportunity.

As the next wave of talent was forming in Milwaukee at the end of the 2015-16 season Kirkland was still playing a huge part in the Kelowna Rockets pursuit of winning the WHL Championship for a second consecutive season. He had come up short with Kelowna last season and completed a junior playing career with that organization that spanned 199 games where he produced 169 points (71 goals, 98 assists).

(Photo Credit: Cincinnati Cyclones)

(Photo Credit: Cincinnati Cyclones)

Kirkland first settled into the city of Milwaukee was during pre-season training camp. And, after having such a high powered offensive junior playing career, the opening to his pro debut season was lacking that level of form. In his first 14 games as a pro he didn’t score a point. He recorded his first pro point on 12/10/16 from a secondary assist. His first pro goal wouldn’t come as a member of the Admirals though. He was assigned to the Cincinnati Cyclones and managed to score in his second stint with the Admirals’ ECHL affiliate. His first AHL goal wouldn’t be that far behind. And when he scored it – you didn’t get a celebration as much as a burst of relief from him. The celebration came more from his teammates excited to see him get the job done.

In watching the Admirals practice as often as I get the opportunity to do I always appreciate how well Kirkland performs in all drills he’s thrown to. He only recently has been tasked to play games at center and did so out of necessity for Kelowna with injuries piling up. He’s bounced around here and there with the Admirals as far as his lines or roles but he continues to look more comfortable as he comes to grips with the pro game.

Cheers to Justin Kirkland for taking the time to chat. Tomorrow the Milwaukee Admirals will be in action hosting Félix Girard and the San Antonio Rampage. On Thursday we’ll be getting the next edition of Fifiteen up featuring Justin Florek. Any requests for the next batch of the “Fifteen” series? Please leave you suggestions in the comment section below.

Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.

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Fifteen with Anthony Richard

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

The 2015-16 season for the Milwaukee Admirals was a really special one. The team itself unveiled brand new identity with updated logos and uniforms. And it was also the final season for the team in the Bradley Center. The 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs may not have gone as hoped for the Admirals but it did provide a special moment in the life of a then teenager named Anthony Richard who made his professional hockey debut on a big stage.

It was very hard to not notice how good Richard was during his debut in the Admirals playoff run last season. He was coming in from a junior playing career with Val-d’Or where he scored 238 points (111 goals, 127 assists) in 232 games in the QMJHL. He sat out the end of the season due to a patella injury but, hurting still or not, it didn’t show when he suited up for the Admirals in the playoffs. He has such incredible speed on the ice and was quite possibly the best forward for the Admirals in last year’s playoffs despite not getting on the scoresheet.

When looking at how his first pro season has gone that last sentiment played out in a negative to start the campaign. He was struggling to produce and his speed was -at times- becoming a small negative in how he overplayed the game. He was scoreless in his first 15 games in the AHL. He would earn his first career pro points, both goal and assist, as a member of the Cincinnati Cyclones in the ECHL.

On 12/16/16 Richard, playing for the Cyclones at the time, lost an edge and went flying into the end-boards and would leave the game. The result of the collision left him with a concussion that cost him nearly a full month of hockey. While it may have been a bad experience. While it would be tough to watch from a distance. The time away helped Richard get composed and return to the Admirals lineup as a relaxed and re-energized player. It all started to come together once the Admirals took a road trip ti Charlotte where he would earn an assist one night and his first AHL goal the next.

Richard is the youngest player on the Admirals roster this season. He looks every bit of that, too. He turned 20-years old at the end of December. The more this season goes on the more Richard seems to improve and look comfortable on the ice. Plus, he is in a great locker room to continually grow on and off the ice with the phenomenal French Canadian contingent that the Admirals have. We’re all only just starting to see flashes of what Richard can be.

Thanks to Anthony Richard for taking the time to chat – on a day where he had taken a Frédérick Gaudreau shot off the jaw during practice no less. Tomorrow we will have “Fifteen with Justin Kirkland” up and “Fifteen with Justin Florek” will come on Thursday. Any requests for the next batch of the “Fifteen” series? Please leave you suggestions in the comment section below.

Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.

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Chatterbox, Vol. 178

(Photo Credit: Greg Hamil)

(Photo Credit: Greg Hamil)

“It’s always something else,” is the go-to line for me lately with the Milwaukee Admirals. When really taking in their effort yesterday on the road against the Rockford IceHogs I think I found far more to like than dislike. The defensive quality from both sides in that game is what stood out the most. And that has been a slight issue of late for the Admirals. But looking how that game ended? It was a good heads up play by Sam Carrick and then two awful calls that were made by the officials that put a stamp to the result.

I don’t like harshly criticizing officials. They make just as unfortunate of mistakes as players can which impact a game. But by the end of a game you should have a very clear sense of the rights and wrongs of how the game is being called.

When Michael Latta and Vladislav Kamenev are having a small dust up around neutral ice and near the IceHogs bench -if a whistle need be blown and a penalty assessed- it isn’t a one person dispute is it? So, why was Kamenev given the lone roughing penalty? They should have been matched up.

Instead they singled out Kamenev, took the wind out of the Admirals already tattered sails, and ruined their late bid at an empty net and extra attacker bid just twelve seconds after the Admirals used their timeout and got ready for their final push.

Kamenev was simply livid at the situation. And it is hard to blame him for it. On top of the officiating crew singling him out in that minor shoving match the officials decided they couldn’t be bothered with having him go to the box and sent him off with a misconduct. I’m sure he said one of the magic words or probably just the one that is easily translatable across all languages. But he had a point. Why was he the lone man singled out? Why did the initiator of the situation get away with nothing?

If that wasn’t bad enough, the IceHogs taking down Kevin Fiala with a borderline football tackle while he was trying to skate up ice with the puck takes the cake. The IceHogs would score on the empty net just seconds after that happened. Worse, that turned out to be the game-winning goal because Trevor Murphy scored with 9.6 seconds remaining.

Kamenev and Latta should have been in the box. It should have gone to four-on-four hockey. The Admirals would have had the extra attacker on and net emptied and it would have had the semblance of an Admirals power-play in a push to win the game. Say that same lunacy happens where Fiala gets tackled and you’re looking at what should be an Admirals five-on-three attack to win the game in the final minute of play. The officials are human. I get that. But some humans can be brainless. The group last night picked the worst possible time in a sixty-minute game to abandon controls from brain to body.

What quite clearly stings the most is the result itself. It stinks to go from a low to such a high to another low all in the space of a three-in-three weekend. Yet, there is progress being made throughout it. The defense that had been looking sloppy, turning pucks over, allowing breakaways, and making poor passes up ice that got turned over instantly – you didn’t have that last night. The defense, while put into a bend don’t break area for most of the night, did its job and did it real well.

What you scream out for now is for that offense to do what we, and they, know it is capable of doing: scoring. It hasn’t come with any consistency since that banzai 9-1 win over the Texas Stars in December. What the lack of offense speaks about more than anything is the sheer lack of balance for the Admirals at the moment. They either have offense and no defense, defense and no offense, or not enough of either to do much but fall apart. Consistency has been lacking for what feels to be nearly two and a half months. The last time the Admirals won three straight games was near the end of January – prior to that it happened in the middle of December. It has to start getting better.

I’m curious then if Wednesday might provide the cure for the Admirals. Félix Girard will make his return to Milwaukee for the first time since being traded to the Colorado Avalanche organization in exchange for Cody McLeod. Girard was a heart and soul player for the Admirals on and especially off the ice. Perhaps like any harsh break-up what the Admirals need to see is their old ex with their new partner – the San Antonio Rampage. Let it out of the system. And get on with it. At the very least the Admirals will have some reinforcements to assist on the night, too.

After last night’s game was completed I spoke with Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason. I also heard from Jonas Gunnarsson and Anthony Richard. These were last night’s post-game interviews.

Comments on the comments? Could the Nashville Predators work out a trade to help out the Milwaukee Admirals much like they did three-times last season when bringing in Stephan Elliott, Patrick Mullen, and Corey Potter? Is that the sort of element to the Admirals that they need help with the most? Is Adam Pardy missed on the ice that badly or is there bigger issues at work?

Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.

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Saros & Åberg Returning to Milwaukee; Mazanec Recalled

(Photo Credit: Mark Newman)

(Photo Credit: Mark Newman)

The Nashville Predators are about to embark on their “bye week” as mandated by the NHL this season. That allows for them to make a few moves that can help the Milwaukee Admirals on Wednesday night while the Predators are stationary. The Predators have recalled Marek Mazanec and reassigned Juuse Saros and Pontus Åberg.

Press Release via Nashville Predators:

Nashville, TN – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Saturday that the club has recalled goalie Marek Mazanec from Milwaukee (AHL) and assigned forward Pontus Aberg and goalie Juuse Saros to Milwaukee.

Mazanec has appeared in four games for the Predators this season and is 0-2-0 with a 4.72 goals-against average and .839 save percentage. He is 13-11-0 with a 2.68 goals-against average and .908 save percentage in 26 games for the Admirals this season.

Aberg has two points (1g-1a) in 15 games for the Preds this season. Saros is 5-5-2 with a 2.09 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage in 12 games for Nashville this season.

The Preds have the next five days off and will return to the ice on Saturday, Feb. 18, at Minnesota. The game will be televised at 7:00 p.m. CT on FOX Sports Tennessee and can be heard on the Predators’ flagship radio station, 102.5 The Game.

Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.

Posted in News | 2 Comments

Tough Sledding; Ads Lose 2-1 in Rockford

(Photo Credit: Greg Hamil)

(Photo Credit: Greg Hamil)

The Milwaukee Admirals lost 2-1 on the road against the Rockford IceHogs at the BMO Harris Bank Center on Sunday evening.

It was a very defensively sound game for both sides tonight. Unfortunately the game tilted the wrong way late in the third period and then saw time run out before the Admirals could rally back to force overtime.

This game started with the news that Jonas Gunnarsson was finally being rotated in net for a start. It was Gunnarsson’s first start since 1/10/17 when the team lost 5-1 at home against the Charlotte Checkers. His last appearance came during a third period relief appearance of Marek Mazanec on 1/24/17 against the Cleveland Monsters. Tonight was Gunnarsson’s ninth appearance of the season for the Admirals. This time last year he had already played 40 games as a member of the Malmö Redhawks in the SHL.

You would think then some rust would show in Gunnarsson’s performance tonight after over a month’s time had elapsed since his last start. It wasn’t to be the case. He was tested early and often by the IceHogs who peppered him with twenty-three shots in the opening two periods. He would have an answer to all of those scoring attempts.

“It felt pretty good,” said Gunnarsson. “I got into the game early with a few shots. Then just went from there.”

The game itself was a defensive chess match with bodies and sticks taking away shots and passes left and right. The game wouldn’t find its first goal until 48:34 of the contest. Sam Carrick had a foot race down the left wing against Jimmy Oligny and his initial shot would get stopped by Gunnarsson but fall free for a follow-up chance. Carrick got to the rebound opportunity and popped it over Gunnarsson for his eleventh goal of the season.

With 1:48 remaining in regulation the Admirals used their timeout and brought Gunnarsson to the bench to bring the extra attacker on with an attacking zone face-off in front of them. That went away just twelve seconds later when the officials called Vladislav Kamenev for a roughing minor. The Russian, trying to figure out how that happened, worked himself into a misconduct penalty and he was guided off the ice.

“They said that he jabbed on the bench, that’s why they grabbed his stick, and then he took a swing. He said he didn’t have to take a swing,” said Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason of the officials explanation of the late penalty against Kamenev. “But, you watch it, Latta hits him first and then goes to the bench and they have an exchange. It should have been four-on-four. I mean it’s ridiculous. 0.1% that doesn’t get called by both guys.”

The Admirals would continue to push with their net emptied but it saw Kevin Fiala get hauled down with no call and then a shot by Jeremy Langlois fly into the empty net for his fifth of the season to make it a 2-0 game.

“It’s hard to take some times,” said Evason. “Obviously you think that call should be made and then not. But [the officials] are human and make mistakes.”

Trevor Murphy would hammer in a slap shot for his tenth goal of the season with just 9.6 seconds remaining to deny Jeff Glass a shutout tonight. The IceHogs took their timeout after Murphy’s goal and they would hold on for the remaining ticks of the clock to earn the 2-1 win in Rockford.

Gunnarsson was terrific in net for the Admirals in his first start in over a month. He picks up a tough luck loss having stopped all but one of the thirty shots he faced in net tonight. The Admirals next return home where Félix Girard and the San Antonio Rampage will be awaiting them on Wednesday night for a 7:00 PM CST face-off.

“We were looking today before the game at [Girard’s] stats,” said Evason. “We miss [Girard]. We miss his grit, his presence in the room. And it will be nice to see him again.”

Ramblings: There were no roster moves made by the organization since the Milwaukee Admirals played last night. Though, if tonight’s opponent was any indication with their roster moves made in the morning, be on the lookout tomorrow to see if the Nashville Predators try to assign some bodies to the AHL during their mandated work stoppage period. Tonight’s line combinations were: Fiala-Ribeiro-Gaudreau, Florek-Smith-White, Kirkland-Kamenev-Payerl, Liambas-Army-Richard, Oligny-Carrier, Murphy-Granberg, O’Brien-Dougherty. Tonight’s scratches were: Adam Pardy (upper-body) and Rick Pinkston (healthy).

What is your reaction to tonight’s game? Where is the Milwaukee Admirals offense lately? Is this Admirals team still in a bit of an identity crisis?

Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.

Posted in Game Recaps | 1 Comment

Chatterbox, Vol. 177

(Photo Credit: Stephanie Moebius)

(Photo Credit: Stephanie Moebius)

Often times games such as last night deserve some time to simmer in the mind before really doing it justice. As time has gone down, and as you read this in the morning, I can honestly say I don’t think the Milwaukee Admirals had any right winning that game last night. The Chicago Wolves from the second period to the end really were the better team. Whether the credit go purely to them or the Admirals making some costly mistakes – the Wolves should have won that game. But they didn’t. The Admirals won 4-3 in regulation and in the process have jumped ahead of the Wolves in the standings.

Hockey can be such a weird game. There were elements to last night that felt all too similar to some of the recent scripts we’ve seen on home ice between the Cleveland Monsters and Rockford IceHogs. There were poor turnovers and some awful mistakes that were punished -if not immediately- not too long after the fact.

Yet, the Admirals did knuckle down against one of the best offensive teams in the AHL and were provided a chance late on the power-play. What happened after that power-play goal from Vladislav Kamenev is a mistake on the part of the Wolves. They paused. They were thrown off momentarily as the building erupted and the Admirals tied things up. And twelves seconds later the Admirals had the game won.

What you hope for the most right now is that the mistakes made recently get minimized and more of the direct play at the end of the game becomes more of a standard to the Admirals style of play. It has been an up and down period for the group from December until now. The roster that the Admirals have at the moment is about as strong as it has been all season. The right pieces and there for them to have continual success. A night and result such as last night’s late comeback over the Wolves should be a strong push towards that path.

All of that being the case it could go for naught should the IceHogs do some bad, bad things in Rockford tonight. The IceHogs snapped an eight game losing streak when they defeated the Admirals on Friday night in overtime. They continued the good vibes with a shootout win last night against the San Antonio Rampage. The IceHogs are trying to find their own way and slowly getting the pieces together for that. It can cause the Admiralsa massive headache and render last night’s thrilling win meaningless with another flat performance. The Admirals biggest test is what is next in front of them: today.What today presents is the IceHogs on the road. If Friday night is anything to go by? The Admirals owe them one.

As far as last night’s post-game interviews are concerned I did speak with Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason. I also chatted with Adam Payerl, Kevin Fiala, and Anthony Richard. These were last night’s post-game comments.

Comments on the comments? What do the Milwaukee Admirals need to do this evening in order to secure a win over the Rockford IceHogs? How important will it be for the Admirals to actually avoid post-whistle mayhem that the IceHogs like to engage in?

Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.

Posted in Chatterbox | Leave a comment

Cardiac Kids Return; Ads Win 4-3 Thriller

(Photo Credit: Stephanie Moebius)

(Photo Credit: Stephanie Moebius)

The Milwaukee Admirals won 4-3 over the Chicago Wolves at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Saturday night.

With four minutes remaining in tonight’s game the Admirals looked down and out against the Wolves. Vladislav Kamenev made two incredible plays that changed it all for the better as he scored a power-play goal to equalize and then twelve-seconds later he setup Adam Payerl for the game-winner in a thrilling finish tonight on home ice.

“Thank gosh,” laughed Milwaukee Admirals head coach of the twelve seconds that changed the night. “Real good goal by [Kamenev]. Really got us fired up. We needed to score on that power-play not only to get us close but to gain some momentum. We did and then we caught a couple of bounces.”

The Wolves had a near chance in the first period with a second remaining from their opening power-play chance. A shot by Alex Friesen flipped up on Marek Mazanec and hit the post and the goal light came on. It was waved off. And then the Admirals did it correctly.

Adam Payerl passed from behind the net and found Anthony Richard in the high slot. The youngest member of the Admirals then took a snapshot as he skated in on goal that whistled over the right shoulder of Pheonix Copley and in for his third tally of the season.

At the midway point of the second period the Wolves would level the contest. A turnover at the Admirals blueline allowed a counter attacking rush for the Wolves that resulted in a shot by Wade Megan off the pads of Marek Mazanec and an easy rebound from the doorstep for Samuel Blais to make it 1-1. The goal for Blais was his sixteenth of the season.

The Admirals would finally break out of wave after wave of defending in the third period to stretch their legs on a rush play. Jimmy Oligny spearheaded an attack out of the Admirals defensive zone and passed up ice to Vladislav Kamenev on the right wing. The Russian would saucer pass on the backhand to the center-lane driving Adam Payerl who smacked the feed on a backhander to score his ninth goal of the season to make it a 2-1 Admirals lead.

That lead wouldn’t last for very long. Mazanec attempted to play a puck up ice but his pass hit off of Brett Sterling and it allowed for a rapid scoring chance that would be polished off by Ty Loney for his second goal of the season. It became a 2-2 tie only 3:32 of ice time after Payerl’s tally.

“[Mazanec’s] clear there, that’s not him,” said Evason. “He came back to the bench and apologized to the group. I think that was maybe a rallying point.”

It would take the Wolves only 1:19 of hockey to score again. James Wisniewski hammered a slap shot from the center of the blueline that flew in bardown. It was the veteran defenseman’s first game in North America this season after having his contract with Admiral Vladivostok in Russia terminated and he marked his Wolves debut with a goal.

Following a Sterling slashing minor it felt like the Admirals were being given their last chance to make a solid push with 5:07 remaining in regulation. The Admirals power-play was able to get the breakthrough when Trevor Murphy dropped a pass across to the right point for Kamenev to hammer from one-knee and label the slap shot past the glove of Copley and into the top shelf for his tenth goal of the season.

“The guys on the bench were, you could feel, this was our last chance,” said Evason. “We were fortunate enough to get it and momentum was changed in a hurry.”

The building had erupted following the equalizing goal with 3:15 remaining in regulation and only twelve-seconds later they had even more reason to go bonkers. Kamenev had swooped down below the Wolves net and worked a puck out off of Reid McNeill and the puck laid on a plate for Payerl to rush in and put the Admirals out in front 4-3. The goal for Payerl was his second of the night and tenth of the season.

The Wolves went empty net and extra attacker with 1:23 remaining and then burned their timeout seven-seconds later. The Admirals would hold on and earn a thrilling win over their Amtrak Rivals in a game that saw them down and out until the final four minutes.

The Admirals will be finishing their three-in-three weekend tomorrow evening when they take to the road and play against the Rockford IceHogs. Some revenge will be in mind for Friday night’s game as the puck drops tomorrow at 4:00 PM CST. The Admirals will return home on Wednesday when Félix Girard returns as a member of the San Antonio Rampage.

Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals played last night there weren’t roster moves made in the organization. Tonight’s line combinations were: Fiala-Ribeiro-Gaudreau, Florek-Smith-White, Kirkland-Kamenev-Payerl, Liambas-Army-Richard, Oligny-Carrier, Murphy-Granberg, O’Brien-Dougherty. Tonight’s scratches were: Adam Pardy (upper-body) and Rick Pinkston (healthy). Tonight’s attendance was 7,889.

What are your thoughts on tonight’s game? Is this the sort of result that can vault the Milwaukee Admirals? What is needed of this team to get consistent and mistake-free hockey going forward?

Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.

Posted in Game Recaps | 2 Comments

Wolves: Scouting the Enemy

(Photo Credit: Ross Dettman)

Thankfully the Chicago Wolves won’t have AHL league leader in points Kenny Agostino in their lineup tonight. Though, based on last night’s result in Chicago, the Wolves might not need him to still do serious damage. (Photo Credit: Ross Dettman)

When looking at who the Milwaukee Admirals face during this weekend’s three-in-three set it is worth noting that every team is in the same boat. The Rockford IceHogs are in action tonight. And the Chicago Wolves who arrive this evening are sandwiching this Admirals game with two home games against the San Antonio Rampage.

The Wolves absolutely throttled the daylights out of the Rampage last night. They earned a 7-3 win in Chicago and pulled that performance off without AHL league leading scorer Kenny Agostino who is currently up with the St. Louis Blues. Chris Butler scored 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists), Brett Sterling scored 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists), and Wade Megan scored 2 goals.

Agostino or not the Wolves offense is lethal. They have the most potent offense in the Western Conference by scoring 168 goals this season. The next closest to them are the Grand Rapids Griffins who are standing at 156 goals. The Admirals have 128 goals this season in three less games work compared to the Wolves.

The Griffins still lead the Central Division but the Wolves are in the hunt in second place with a record of 28-16-3-3 (62 points, 0.620 points percentage). They have won three straight games entering tonight’s contest. The Admirals (0.606) are in third place and have gone 4-5-0-1 this season against the Wolves. The Amtrak Trophy already belongs to the Wolves this season.

Pheonix Copley has really emerged as the Wolves go-to option over the likes of Jordan Binnington and Ville Husso. Copley has now logged the most games and minutes in net and his play is justifying it: 12-5-1-2 record from 21 games played with a 2.37 goals against average, 0.918 save percentage, and he has earned a lone shutout this season. Against the Admirals this year Copley has made 7 appearances and has gone 5-1-1-0 with a 2.25 goals against average and 0.924 save percentage.

Expectations for tonight’s Amtrak Rivalry game? Are you concerned that some of the hiccups in the Milwaukee Admirals defensive game lately could get exploited with the explosive Chicago Wolves offense tonight? Should Jonas Gunnarsson, who hasn’t seen a start in six games – nineteen days, finally get rotated into the Admirals net?

Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.

Posted in Scouting | Leave a comment

Chatterbox, Vol. 176

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

The Milwaukee Admirals 3-2 overtime loss to the Rockford IceHogs is the sort of game that leaves a weird taste in the mouth. There were some missed opportunities that could have been capitalized on and misplays that allowed the IceHogs to produce. Despite that, the Admirals didn’t play a poor game by any stretch of the imagination. The “defense first” mentality was on display. I suppose it was just on display a bit too much.

Perhaps the best news of all here is that the Admirals don’t have to rest on that game for too long. The weekend’s three-in-three may have gotten off on a wrong step but that doesn’t mean it needs to turn into a stumble and fall. The Admirals have the Chicago Wolves in tomorrow night on home ice and can pay the IceHogs back in their own barn on Sunday. Bits and pieces of what the Admirals didn’t against the IceHogs last night worked well. They just need it on a consistent basis from start to finish – with a high emphasis being on how they start.

The Admirals record now rests at 26-16-3-2 (57 points, 0.606 points percentage). The Wolves won last night by a ludicrous 7-3 scoreline over the San Antonio Rampage. For the Admirals to start making ground on the the Wolves and Grand Rapids Griffins they do need to get things rolling sooner rather than later. If it means starting it with wins in the head-to-head department? Tomorrow would be a good time to start.

After the game I spoke with Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason. I also had the chance to hear from Kevin Fiala and Matt White. Here were their post-game comments.

Comments on the comments? Are you at all worried seeing the Milwaukee Admirals get results as tight as this against a team that has been rough all season such as the Rockford IceHogs? What changes need to be made to swing the last two-games of this weekend’s three-in-three?

Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.

Posted in Chatterbox | 1 Comment

IceHogs Top Admirals in Overtime, 3-2

team-21017-2

The Milwaukee Admirals lost 3-2 in overtime against the Rockford IceHogs at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Friday night.

There was far more to like than otherwise tonight for the Admirals. They had some great defensive effort and climbed out of a first period hole with a lead. Sadly, the game went to overtime and the IceHogs found a break with Sam Carrick in the three-on-three period that sealed things.

“We’re disappointed in how we give up goals,” stated Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason after the game. “We don’t give teams anything until we give teams everything.”

Tonight’s game got off to a bad start as the IceHogs would quickly take the lead from a Brandon Mashinter breakaway goal. Mashinter glided down the slot and snapped a shot low to the glove of Marek Mazanec that went in for his ninth goal of the season to make it 1-0 IceHogs.

The Admirals would get two responses to the IceHogs opening goal in the first period to see them ahead 2-1.

Trevor Smith created a turnover right in front of netminder Jeff Glass and Matt White stepped right into the loose puck with a cannon of a shot from point blank range to score his tenth of the season. Then Vladislav Kamenev had a dazzling no-look backhand pass as he was skating around the net that setup Adam Payerl for an easy tap-in. Glass was looking for Kamenev out the left side of the net and Payerl was scoring his eighth goal behind his back.

The IceHogs would equalize in the late stages of the third period following a tripping call against Anthony Richard. Ville Pokka whipped a wrister from the top of the right wing circle and it glanced past the net front screen of Mashinter and then off the leg of Alex Carrier before popping into the net for a power-play goal. The series of bad bounces meant Pokka had recorded his third goal of the season and leveled the contest at 2-2 with just over six-minutes remaining in regulation.

As was the case the last time these two locked horns overtime was required tonight. Matt White had a chance on a breakaway to seal it but Glass locked the pads together and took away the bottom of the net to make the save. In the end, Sam Carrick would skate down the left wing and rip a wrister from the face-off circle that flew into the top shelf past Mazanec for the overtime winner on his tenth goal of the season.

The Admirals are right back in action tomorrow night on home ice when they see the Chicago Wolves at 6:00 PM CST. They will complete the three-in-three weekend with revenge of tonight in mind when they travel to Rockford on Sunday for a game at 4:00 PM CST.

“We’re disappointed in the outcome. We’re not disappointed in the way that we worked,” said Evason. “But we are disappointed in the turnovers and giving them opportunities, clear, easy opportunities to score.”

Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals played on Tuesday night there haven’t been any roster moves made in the organization. Tonight’s line combinations were: Fiala-Ribeiro-Gaudreau, Florek-Smith-White, Kirkland-Kamenev-Payerl, Liambas-Army-Richard, Oligny-Carrier, Murphy-Granberg, O’Brien-Dougherty. Tonight’s scratches were: Adam Pardy (upper-body) and Rick Pinkston (healthy).

What were your thoughts on tonight’s game? Are the Milwaukee Admirals still fighting themselves a little bit or are they slowly getting a foundation set for a run in the right direction? Will the mistakes be corrected by tomorrow night?

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