The Milwaukee Admirals continued to assert themselves as the powerhouse of the AHL on Friday night as they defeated the Cleveland Monsters 4-0. Milwaukee netminder Connor Ingram earned his first shutout of the season.
The Milwaukee Admirals were celebrating forward Anthony Richard’s birthday on Friday, and so was he. Richard helped start out scoring very early in Friday night’s contest with a secondary assist on Miikka Salomaki’s goal that came at 2:48 in the first. This was only Salomaki’s second goal of the season in 17 games with the Admirals. Alexandre Carrier (17) had the primary assist.
The Admirals extended their lead at 9:49 in the first period thanks to Rem Pitlick’s 8th goal of the season. Jarred Tinordi (5) and Alexandre Carrier (18) had the assists.
A little over halfway through the first period, Tommy Novak earned his sixth goal while on the powerplay, beating Cleveland goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks.
The highlight of the game came at 5:50 in the third period when birthday boy Anthony Richard scored his tenth goal of the season with a beautiful shot from the right wing right passed Kivlenieks. The goal and assist were enough to be named the first star of the game on his birthday.
Connor Ingram stopped all 32 shots that the Monsters threw at him. Cleveland led shots 32-31 through the entire contest. This win extended Milwaukee’s lead over the entire Central division.
Let’s start with talking about the birthday boy. Richard’s start to the season was pretty underwhelming once compared to his career high season from last year. He currently sits with 10 goals, five of those goals came in the last six games. It seems he is starting to find his footing again. Two of his games came in Wednesday night’s matchup against the San Antonio Rampage.
The Admirals still have one of the most powerful powerplay units in the league. They no longer have the top spot, but they are tied for second with an astounding 26.2% after 103 powerplay opportunities. They are tied with San Antonio. The difference being that San Antonio has had 122 opportunities on the powerplay.
Milwaukee still sits atop the AHL standings with 49 points. The Tucson Roadrunners are at 44 points. In terms of the Central division, the Admirals have a 14 point lead for first in the division. Rockford sits in second with 35, Iowa with 34, and Chicago in a tie with San Antonio with 28. It is also worth noting that the Admirals have won the last nine games at home.
Congratulations to Head Coach Karl Taylor for being named one of the coaches for the AHL All-Star Classic.
The Admirals will play again Saturday night against Central Division rival the Grand Rapids Griffins.