The Admirals picked up four goals from four of their rookies, leading the team to a 6-3 victory over the Charlotte Checkers at the BMO Harris Bradley Center Friday night.
The Admirals started off the first period strong with a power play goal from Viktor Arvidsson just 4:22 into the period. He skated into the slot to bury the rebound, giving the Ads a 1-0 lead. Charlotte responded soon after with a power play goal from Phil DiGiuseppe, who snuck the puck just under the crossbar and over the right shoulder of Marek Mazanec. Pontus Aberg made a quick move around a defender to slip the puck into the net taking back the lead for the Ads 2-1.
The second period began similarly, with an early goal at 2:54 from Fredrick Gaudreau. He came in, caught it on the backhand, and stick handled the puck before finding the back of the net to strengthen the Admiral’s lead 3-1.
Justin Shugg closed in on the Ads lead with a goal at 7:00 bringing the score to 3-2, however with just 4:59 left in the second period, Zach Boychuk tied the game up at 3-3 with another goal for the Checkers.
Austin Watson kicked off the third period with a goal just 22 seconds in. Miikka Salomaki flipped the puck to Watson and he found the back of the net to regain the lead for the Ads 4-3. With 2:59 left in the third, Gaudreau droped the puck off for Zach Budish and with a quick hammer, got one between the legs of Drew MacIntyre and brought the score to 5-3 Admirals. Felix Girard finished it off with an empty net goal at 1:36 giving the final score of 6-3 Admirals.
Both Joe Piskula and Brendan Leipsic tallied two assists, while Aberg and Gaudreau each tallied one goal and one assist. Arvidsson, Aberg, Gaudreau, and Girard each scored their first North American goal tonight in their debut game.
“It felt good. It was nice to score in front of the home crowd,” said Aberg.
Watson also commented on the rookie’s performances tonight, “They were all great. It’s pretty awesome for them to come out in their first game and play so well.”
Head Coach Dean Evason was equally impressed with how they played tonight. “We’ve talked about our skill level. And if we can play with that type of energy and look after our zone, hopefully we’re going to get opportunities to allow people with that skill level to have success,” said Evason.
The Admirals will be back at it in Milwaukee on October 25th at 7pm as they take on the Lake Erie Monsters.