The Milwaukee Admirals had an explosive weekend defeating two Central division rivals. On Friday, the Admirals beat the Chicago Wolves 4-1 and then Saturday won 7-2 against the Rockford IceHogs. This weekend the Admirals retired Darren Haydar’s number 20; to celebrate the Admirals wore throwback jerseys, resembling the jerseys worn by the 2004 Calder Cup winning team of which Haydar was a key member.
Friday February 21 vs. Chicago Wolves (Home)
The Admirals, on Darren Haydar night, saw a slow start for Milwaukee. The Chicago Wolves’ Brandon Pirri scored on Connor Ingram to get Chicago an early lead. Luckily for the Admirals, Jeremy Davies scored his fourth goal of the season at 14:34. Rem Pitlick (14) and Josh Healy (2) had the assists.
During the first intermission, Darren Haydar’s number 20 was raised to the rafters of the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena joining seven other Admirals legends, including fellow 2004 teammate Tony Hrkac.
Milwaukee gained the lead in the second intermission at 7:51 when reigning AHL MVP Daniel Carr passed the 20 goal mark. He had assists from Santini (10) and Cole Schneider (24). Carr is the first member of this Admirals team to hit 20 goals for the season.
The third period saw Milwaukee extending their lead. Rem Pitlick, who has found his groove on the powerplay, scored his 19th goal of the season at 12:38. Schneider (25) and Alexandre Carrier (29) had the assists.
Not to be outdone, Daniel Carr scored his 21st goal of the season on an empty Chicago net at 18:47 with assists from Pitlick (15) and Schneider (26) getting the assists.
The Admirals won 4-1.
Saturday February 22nd vs. Rockford (Home)
The Admirals absolutely unloaded on the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday night. Winning 7-2 thanks to a mixed effort from the team. The team was led by Yakov Trenin who scored a hat trick. Trenin missed Friday’s game due to illness.
The first half of Saturday night’s first period was uneventful. Action first came at 12:14 when Tommy Novak completed a beautiful play thanks to crisp passing from Jeremy Davies (18) and Daniel Carr (24). Carr didn’t return for the remainder of the game after the first period due to an injury sustained in the period.
The second period was not kind to Rockford goaltender Matt Tomkins. At 5:46 Michael McCarron scored on a powerplay thanks to a one-timer from the point. The IceHogs brought the game within one when Garrett Mitchell scored at 9:52 on Troy Grosenick.
That was the closest Rockford would get for the rest of the game. Mathieu Olivier scored his ninth of the season at 10:34 off the back of Tomkins.
Eeli Tovanen scored his 16th goal of the season at 11:12 with a slapshot from between the circles and some great passing work from Jeremy Davies (19) and Frederick Gaudreau (16).
At 14:44, Yakov Trenin began his journey towards a hat trick for the night. The Admirals were on the powerplay and Trenin was able to push the puck through Tomkins’ five hole. Novak (25) had the lone assist.
Rockford started the third off with a quick goal at 57 seconds into the period. Yakov Trenin answered back less than a minute later. Alexandre Carrier fired off a shot from the top of the circle that rang off the pipe and settled behind Tomkins, Yakov Trenin was the only person that saw the puck and pushed it into the goal.
At 11:24 of the period, there was some pushing and shoving in the Admirals zone. All of a sudden, Troy Grosenick and Matt Tomkins skated to center ice and dropped the gloves. Grosenick landed a few hay-makers before both lost their balance and fell to the ice. Both were given five minute majors for fighting, two minute minors for removing their helmets, two minute minors for leaving the crease, and 10 minute game misconducts for a secondary altercation. Connor Ingram entered the game to finish the Admirals victory.
Yakov Trenin’s hat trick was completed at 12:07 when Carrier fired a shot from the point and Trenin tipped the puck passed Collin Delia (who entered the game after Tomkins was ejected after the fight). This was Trenin’s first career hat trick.
The Admirals won 7-2.
The Admirals had a few rough games preceding this weekend. Their firm grip on the AHL lessened after those games. However, the Admirals still lead the league with 81 points, the Belleville Senators sit in second with 75. The Admirals have a 7 point lead in the Central division over the Iowa Wild. Grand Rapids is third in the division but only have 59 points.
Milwaukee has 20 games remaining in the season and by all accounts should be able to make a successful run at the Calder Cup.
The Admirals will play again on Wednesday February 26 at 7PM at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. This is the fourth to last game the Admirals will play against the San Antonio Rampage who were recently sold to the Vegas Golden Knights organization and will be relocated following this season.